Invited perspective: Beyond National Water Quality Surveys: Improving Water Quality Surveillance to Achieve Safe Drinking Water for All (Sustainable Development Goal 6.1)

Authors: Katrina J. Charles and Ellen Greggio.

This invited perspective summarises a new paper from the Joint Monitoring Program team, Bain et al. 2021, showing results from the implementation of the MICS water quality module in 27 low- and middle- income countries. While MICS data are able to elucidate the situation in individual countries, MICS water quality data does not always provide the inputs that water managers need to inform the required improvements to achieve SDG 6.1. The authors outline the case for routine monitoring to aid decision making, including a proposed model for national and longitudinal water monitoring in Bangladesh. Finally, the authors present three key recommendations: first, better information obtained through increased risk-based monitoring by national agencies and water service providers of water safety issues; second, improved institutional clarity on roles and responsibilities; and third, more investment in mainstream water safety planning, including climate resilience, at all scales, including in rural areas.

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Kelly Ann Naylor, Associate Director, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Section, Programme Division, UNICEF

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