Publication: How European Public Water Utilities Face the COVID Emergency

GWOPA/UN-Habitat collaborates in a report developed by Aqua Publica Europea (APE) that addresses the responses and the lessons learnt from European public water utilities in their fight against COVID-19.

“In this publication, GWOPA is proud to collaborate with Aqua Publica Europea to share the experience and emerging body of practice from Europe with other regions. Water and sanitation utilities are on the frontline in terms of preventing the spread of Covid-19. The operators showcased have undertaken a range of work to help ensure that the utilities continue, despite the challenges. The utility-led responses to the crisis presented here have helped protect the public and workers and keep these life-saving services available to all.”

This is what Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, UN-Habitat Executive Director, and Chair of the GWOPA International Steering Committee, writes in the preface of the publication Managing the Unexpected – European Public Water Utilities Facing the Coronavirus Emergency, which provides an overview of best practices from European public water utilities, but also the lessons learnt in the process of managing the Coronavirus emergency.

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The document outlines the various phases water utilities go through, from decision-making process, the role of the crisis unit, risk management, commercial relations, to the recovery time.

Public water operators are key actors for the society’s wellbeing and safety. This document not only is an account of the concrete experiences and approaches of European public water utilities, but also is a tool to raise awareness of the importance job they do, a reference for peers to rely on in initial phases when facing a crisis, and a reflection on what is next.