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close this bookTechnical notes: Special Considerations for Programming in Unstable Situations (UNICEF, 2000, 490 p.)
close this folderChapter 17: Managing Water Resources
View the documentForenote
View the documentRationale
View the documentGeneral Aim
View the documentBasic Principles
Open this folder and view contentsIdentifying Priorities
Open this folder and view contentsStrategies
Open this folder and view contentsField-Level Actions and Strategies
View the documentAssessing Water Needs
Open this folder and view contentsAssessment Guidelines
View the documentFurther Guidance (Essential References)


Clean (safe) water for drinking and cooking and for personal/child/domestic hygiene is critical to preserving health and well being, especially of children and women, in emergency situations. The lack of a safe reliable water supply can cause great hardship and contribute to disease outbreaks, especially in densely crowded camp conditions typically found in emergencies where populations are displaced. Refer to Chapter 19 on sanitation for specific reference to disease risks. In some emergencies, a careful assessment of water for animals may be critical, especially if the affected population (pastoralists or other) largely depend on such animal stocks for their food or survival. In emergency situations, UNICEF (in close collaboration and coordination with other concerned organizations) will respond rapidly, within its mandate, to help meet emergency and longer-term water, as well as sanitation and hygiene needs of children. The extent and intensity of this response will be contingent upon the availability of sufficient human, financial and supply resources. For specific guidance on UNICEF policy on WES for emergencies, please refer to paragraphs 54 - 60 of the Executive Board approved ‘UNICEF Strategies in Water and Environmental Sanitation’ (Document E/ICEF/1995/17, issued 13 April 1995). And for specific actions in emergency preparedness, particularly during the first 72 hours of the event, please refer to, and follow the UNICEF’s Core Corporate Commitments for WES. Annexes 1-5 contain additional information on water: distribution and storage; water sources; quality and treatment; pumps, pipes and fittings, and WES in urban areas.