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The International Organization for Standardization – commonly called ISO – is the agency in Europe that sets environmental business standards. The organization has recently released three new rules for waste and drinking water.
“These ISO standards will play a primary role in promoting access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation through improved governance at all levels,” said ISO Secretary-General Alan Bryden. “Their publication is a first step towards responding to the United Nations’ concern in recognizing that access to water is an essential human right. The U.N. has set ambitious goals to increase access to drinking water and wastewater services, particularly in developing countries.”
ISO 24510 contains guidelines for the assessment and for the improvement of the service to users. It is a service-oriented standard that addresses the following topics:
- A brief description of the components of the service relating to the users;
- Core objectives for the service, with respect to users’ needs and expectations;
- Guidelines for satisfying users’ needs and expectations;
- Assessment criteria for service to users in accordance with the guidelines provided;
- Examples of indicators linked to the assessment criteria that can be used for assessing the performance of the service.
- A brief description of the physical/infrastructural and managerial/institutional components of water utilities;
- Core objectives for water utilities, considered to be globally relevant at the broadest level;
- Guidelines for the management of the water utilities;
- Guidelines for the assessment of the water services with service assessment criteria related to the objectives, and performance indicators linked to these criteria.