Decision support tool

Aims of this DST

In the following you will find a decision support tool (DST) for the development of a system-specific strategy to avoid the occurrence of cyanotoxins in your drinking water. Parts of this DST can also be used for bathing water.

This DST has been developed for:

  1. Water suppliers interested in assessing the cyanotoxin risk in their supply system.
  2. Public health authorities responsible for surveillance who suspect a cyanotoxin risk in water supply system(s) and/or via exposure activities, such as recreation.
  3. Environmental authorities planning a risk assessment or measures for water-body management and who are interested in a prognosis of the water-body’s reaction in relation to cyanobacterial proliferation.

This tool follows the Water Safety Plan (WSP) concept introduced by the WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality. It introduces you to the assessment of human health risk from cyanotoxin occurrence in relation to other risks to human health in your water supply system or recreational area. The result is a building block for a WSP specifically designed for your setting, which can readily be complemented for further hazards when developing a complete WSP. The structure of this DST as well as the terminology follows the WSP concept published.

The system does not make decisions for you. Rather, it guides you through the questions and issues which you need to address when assessing the risk due to cyanotoxins in your system.

You will find background information and questionnaires which allow you to assess if cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins occur in hazardous concentrations in your water-body and how good you can manage this risk. This DST will be reviewed periodically. At the moment, it is focussed on the European setting (specific information for [sub]tropical regions is not included). Our aim is to further expand and optimise this DST to cover world wide scenarios. Therefore any comments and suggestions to expand or improve this DST are highly welcome (