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An understanding of the nature and impact of risk within the water sector can only be attained with reference to the societal role which water services play. Although it is not the intention of this contribution to itemise or delineate all relevant risks, a broad overview of the central concerns that drive risk appreciation and management within the sector is warranted. The principal operational driver for any water and wastewater service provider is the delivery of fresh safe drinking water and the removal of waste water in a safe and responsible manner. The Bonn Charter (2004) is the central statement of ambition and constitutes a sectoral commitment setting the framework for the basic operational and institutional arrangements necessary for the provision of water and waste water services, from source to tap.

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