Águas de Portugal backs Mozambique in implementing its Water Safety Plans

The Águas de Portugal Group is rendering technical assistance services to the Water Regulation Council of Mozambique within the scope of implementing Water Safety Plans (WSPs).

The contract, financed by the World Bank, provides for consultancy and advisory work by the Group's Mozambique subsidiary, Aquatec, across three phases: firstly, in the training of technical staff, secondly in drafting and implementing a WSP for the Maputo water supply system; and thirdly, the production of a manual for implementing WSPs in Mozambique and also focusing on the particularities of supply systems for peri-urban zones.

Within this scope, the AdP Group concluded the training phase of the project in the first week of March with the presentation of WSPs to a diversified group of actors from across the Mozambican water sector, in particular, the Board of the National Water Regulator, the Water Supply Investment and Asset Fund, the National Directorate of Waters, the Maputo regional water company, the Board of the Water and Sanitation Infrastructures entity, the Regional Board of the Águas do Sul company as well as the leadership of the National Laboratory of Water and Food Hygiene. Thus far in 2014, within the framework of launching the project a, a theoretical and practical training program was held for over 20 technicians and coordinated by the AdP Serviços Engineering Directorate.

As regards the drafting of the WSP for the Umbeluzi water supply system that provides for the city of Maputo, at this point in time, the system's description has already been completed, with the Chamanculo Distribution Centre serving as the pilot project with the phases of risk analysis and evaluation now ongoing. During April, and within the framework of this project, a study visit by various Mozambican technical specialists will visit Portuguese management entities with WSPs in effect in order to provide the opportunity for sharing experiences.

The CRA deems the implementation of WSPs as a highly important tool for raising the level of water safety in Mozambique and especially in a country that already holds an 87% level of water supply coverage in urban zones whilst standing at 37% in rural zones.

The WSPs are a preventive methodology for the management of water quality for human consumption and a concept introduced by the World Health Organisation in 2004. The AdP Group forms part of the group of utilities that has assumed world leadership on this issue and having begun implementation of WSPs across its water supply systems immediately in 2004.

Based upon the joint publication of a Water Safety Plan Manual: step-by-step risk management for drinking-water suppliers by the World Health Organisation and the International Water Association – the IWA and integrating a set of practical cases already implemented at Group companies, AdP produced its own Portuguese language Manual for the Development Water Safety Plans that was first publicly presented at the Symposium on Hydraulic and Hydric Resources for Portuguese Language Countries (10th SILUSBA), held in Brazil in 2011.

In September 2014, on the occasion of the IWA World Water Congress held in Lisbon, a new edition of this Portuguese language manual received its public presentation within the framework of ongoing efforts to better support management entities running water supply systems for human consumption and correspondingly implementing Water Safety Plans.

19 of March of 2015