New diseases, including water-related diseases, periodically "emerge" either because they are newly recognized or because their importance increases. This may be due to the micro-organisms themselves evolving, to changes in the way we manage water resources and supplies; changes in the tools and methods used to study the organisms and the health effects they cause; or due to changes in the human population itself.

WHO, USEPA and other agencies collaborate to address some of these challenges through an initiative. The initiative leads to development and publication of state-of-the-art reviews based on wide international expert consultations.

Reviews published on emerging issues in water and infectious disease

Animal waste, water quality and human health
October 2012

Heterotrophic plate count measurement and drinking water safety

Information sheet: Pharmaceuticals in drinking-water
June 2011

Legionella and the prevention of legionellosis

Pathogenic mycobacteria in water: A guide to public health consequences, monitoring and management

Pharmaceuticals in drinking-water
June 2011

Questions & answers on potential transmission of avian influenza (H5N1) through water, sanitation and hygiene and ways to reduce the risks to human health

Risks to human health through potential transmission of avian influenza (H5N1) through water and sewage

Safe management of shellfish and harvest waters

Toxic cyanobacteria in water: public health consequences, monitoring and management

Waterborne zoonoses: identification, causes and control

Other information that may be of interest

Guidelines for drinking-water quality: Microbiological agents in drinking-water

Guidelines for drinking-water quality: chemicals index

Water-related disease fact sheets

Recent WSH publications

UN-water global analysis and assessment of sanitation and drinking-water (GLAAS) 2014 - report
17 November 2014

Water Safety in Distribution Systems
4 June 2014

Progress on drinking water and sanitation
5 May 2014

Special report for the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA)
4 April 2014

Toxic cyanobacteria in water
12 December 2013

Management of solid health-care waste at primary health-care centres
12 December 2013

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