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Making waves: How do we prepare for the next drinking water disaster?

Curnin, S ORCID: 0000-0001-5248-7250 and Brooks, B ORCID: 0000-0001-7954-6281 2020 , 'Making waves: How do we prepare for the next drinking water disaster?' , Water Research, vol. 185 , pp. 1-6 , doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2020.116277.

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Abstract

There is a societal expectation that drinking water owners and operators will successfully manage drinking water quality incidents, so they do not become a disaster. However, human errors have contributedto causing and worsening drinking water quality incidents worldwide. Personnel tasked with managingdrinking water quality incidents need to be prepared. This preparation often occurs in exercises that simulate how a team would respond to a drinking water quality incident. It is our opinion that exercisessimulating drinking water quality incidents must shift from a design that is primarily to simulate an intervention, to one that promotes conditions for learning and enhances the human-centric capabilities ofthose involved. Traditional exercises invariably seek to test the response to a water quality incident andthe actions of those involved, often for regulatory purposes. This approach is necessary but can also provide a negative experience for the exercise participants as their actions are frequently scrutinised afterthe exercise. We offer a strategy to complement traditional approaches to drinking water quality exercises. Central to this is the inclusion of structured training sessions that provide guidance and supportthroughout an exercise. This can foster a strong learning environment than exercises or training sessionsalone. The benefit to water owners and operators is enhanced preparedness and potential mitigation offuture drinking water quality disasters

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Curnin, S and Brooks, B
Keywords: disasters, human capability, human factors, water quality
Journal or Publication Title: Water Research
Publisher: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
ISSN: 0043-1354
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.watres.2020.116277
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 Elsevier

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