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Your April learning curve

Want to catch up, build up, your knowledge of HWTS, as a practitioner or facilitator? There’s a new five-week online course, starting 7 April, for you on the why, and treatment options, more treatment options, implementation and impact assessment. A kind of HWTS 101, highly admirable, and an important part of the palette of the safe water scale-up. It is, mind, a tad techy, with stuff like ‘supply chains’ and ‘demand creation’ tucked away into a crowded fourth week.

This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is organised by Sandec, the Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG) with the EPFL technical university of Lausanne. +1.

www.coursera.org/course/hwts

Benchmark in action: Testing times indeed

At last! The first round of testing was announced today for the International Scheme to Evaluate Household Water Treatment Technologies, established by the WHO in the spring of 2013. After detailed preparation of protocols, the closing date for this round is a tad sudden: 10 March 2014.

The scheme assesses the performance of HWTS products – to be tested in independent labs – in removing bacteria, viruses and protozoa from water intended for drinking.

With governments and UN agencies its prime beneficiaries, it’s important to note the international nature of the scheme. Implicitly, The level of national standards could differ, when governments can establish them, and their enforcement locally is a whole other issue.

So, here we have it, the benchmark has come. Speaking ergonomically, we may sometimes grumble at the way some HWTS devices require the user to climb and clamber in the kitchen to pour water down to a filter, but, hey, in terms of standards, the higher the better.

www.who.int/household_water/scheme/en/

General inquiries on the Scheme to Maggie Montgomery (montgomerym@who.int)