Water Journal : Current August 2017
www.awa.asn.au 62 Is the risk-based management plan going to work? PILLARS FOR EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION. T Hasan executive summary risk management P oorly managed water supplies present a risk to the safety and aesthetic quality of drinking water. The greatest risk is from microbial contamination. In response to managing the risks and for protection of public health, having risk-based management plans for drinking water quality is recognised as the most effective means in the Australian water industry, as well as the global community. With the risk-based management plan in place, the question becomes: Is it going to achieve the desired benefits or outcomes? This paper discusses how to ensure effective implementation, which is the important piece of the puzzle between having a plan and achieving the desired benefits or outcomes. ACE-ING IT The ACE pillars needed for effective implementation are: 1. Adequate plan or system 2. Champion to drive implementation 3. Enabling environment ADEQUATE PLAN OR SYSTEM: Garbage in, garbage out describes what is being referred to, which is basically that the output is no better than the input. The risk plan should be adequate to manage risks, from catchment to consumer. This can be ensured through considering the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines as a reference when preparing the plan, undertaking comprehensive periodic reviews of the plan and internal/external audit of compliance with the plan. CHAMPION TO DRIVE IMPLEMENTATION: This is usually where implementation lags or fails. Often there is no person in the organisation who assumes or is given the role of a champion to drive implementation of the developed plan. A champion is therefore needed to coordinate implementation of the various elements of the plan and provide motivation for its implementation. The champion also acts as the link between the operational team, senior management and the regulator. ENABLING ENVIRONMENT: Success is dependent on whether an organisation provides the champion with the support needed for plan implementation. An enabling environment is required to support the champion in implementing the plan effectively, including, for example, finances, resources, skilled staff, executive support and time. STICKING THE LANDING For effective implementation, there should be an adequate risk-based management plan that the champion will coordinate implementation of through an enabling environment. Without effective implementation, supported through the ACE pillars, the plan will not achieve the desired benefits. Tasleem Hasan is a consultant working with Australian drinking water providers. To read the full article, visit the Water e-Journal at bit.ly/water_ejournal With the risk-based management plan in place, the question becomes: Is it going to achieve the desired outcomes?
Current May 2017