Status of small-scale water supplies in the WHO European Region. Results of a survey conducted under the Protocol on Water and Health (2016)




By Bettina Rickert, Margriet Samwel, Enkhtsetseg Shinee, Frantisek Kozisek and Oliver Schmoll
2016, iv + 41 pages
ISBN 978 92 890 5194 1

Small-scale systems are an important component of water supplies in the WHO European Region. To improve the evidence base on small-scale water supplies and to gain a better overview of the status quo throughout the Region, the WHO Regional Office for Europe and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe made a survey requesting country-specific information in 2012–2013 under the Protocol on Water and Health to the 1992 Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes. The survey had a high response rate (81%), and this analysis of the results includes responses from 43 of the 53 countries in the WHO European Region. 

This report summarizes the findings of the survey, which showed that about 23% of the population of the Region receive their drinking-water from small-scale systems. The results reveal that comprehensive information on small-scale water supplies is typically not readily available at the national level across the Region, which hampers systematic assessment of the prevailing conditions. Establishing national registers of small-scale water supplies and routine data collection mechanisms would improve the evidence base and thus support the prioritization of improvements. The findings of the assessment are intended to inform policy-making and the formulation of intervention strategies and to help identify further action under the Protocol.