Water providers are on the front line fighting COVID19. Everyone needs water for hand-washing. People who are locked down or self-isolating need water at home. Yet in many places, water supply arrangements create risk. Groups gathered around a standpipe or water kiosk can quickly spread infection. So can water vendors going door to door. Water utility staff need protection from infection, in customer service offices, and when working with colleagues on operations and maintenance. Even worse, as economies grind to a halt, customers stop paying their bills. Without cash coming in, how can utilities pay salaries, and for the electricity that keeps the water pumping, and for the chemicals that make it safe?
To help utilities see clearly in this maelstrom of risk, we’ve created a Risk Identification Checklist. It delineates between risk categories: risks for communities that rely on water vendors, risks for those who use standpipes, risks for other customer groups, and finally risks that threaten a water utility’s overall ability to function. With this simple checklist, a utility or government can quickly identify where its big risks are—which is the first step in planning to respond to them. Please use this checklist. Let us know if it’s helpful. Please suggest improvements. Finally, if you need help in planning your response to the risks, let us know too – we may be able to help.
Author: David Ehrhardt