Improving Knowledge Development and Transfer, to Improve Operation and Maintenance of Water and Sanitation Systems in Low- and Middle Income Countries
Effective operation and maintenance of a water and sanitation facility is central to sustainability. Poorly-run and maintained drinking water supply and sanitation systems adversely affect public health, the quality of the environment and the economy. The poor are disproportionately affected by poor quality water, intermittent water supply services and inadequate collection, treatment and disposal of effluent, which are a result of insufficient or under-funded operation and maintenance practices. Yet, operations and maintenance in water and sanitation projects are often neglected; compromising the financial viability of many utilities now facing the challenge of rapidly aging infrastructure, inefficient pumps and dysfunctional networks.
IWA is a leading partner of the Operations and Maintenance Network (OMN) – an international network of water suppliers, government agencies, international organizations and other stakeholder groups, collaborating together to raise awareness and develop capacities to effectively address operation and maintenance (O&M) of water supply and sanitation systems and protect public health. The online portal also includes a reference library as well as a toolbox. The OMN is the reference point for issues related to O&M of water supply and waste water systems in low and middle income countries. It aims to actively promote O&M through comprehensive approaches, Strategic Asset Management, Water Safety Plans and Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems.