Engaging with the water sector for public health benefits: waterborne pathogens and diseases in developed countries



Bridge J, Oliver D, Chadwick DR, Godfray HCJ, Heathwaite AL, Kay D, Maheswaran R, McGonicle DF, Nicols G, Pickup R, Porter J, Wastling JM & Banwart SA (2010) Engaging with the water sector for public health benefits: waterborne pathogens and diseases in developed countries. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 88 (11), pp. 873-875.;

An editorial published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization in 2008 argued for stronger engagement between the health and water sectors, commenting “a public health perspective in water management provides opportunities to both improve population health and reduce costs.” When viewed from a public health perspective, water is typically considered in terms of drinking, bathing and waste disposal but other activities, particularly food production, inshore fisheries and recreation, form important points of human contact. The water sector is diverse, comprising environmental sciences, engineering, the water supply industry, regulatory authorities and government policy-makers. A new level of engagement to involve the water sector in public health objectives is therefore dependent upon establishing a basis for dialogue and collaboration between these stakeholders, who bring widely differing conceptual approaches and practical concerns. In support of this aim, we present here a perspective on waterborne pathogens and diseases from a multidisciplinary expert group from the environmental science, microbiology, water industry, regulatory and health protection communities in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

pathogen; disease; water quality; public health; Water quality Standards Great Britain; Water quality management Great Britain; Water quality Health aspects; Waterborne infection; Health risk assessment

Bulletin of the World Health Organization: Volume 88, Issue 11

Publication date30/11/2010
PublisherWorld Health Organization
Publisher URL

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Professor David Oliver

Professor David Oliver

Professor, Biological and Environmental Sciences