A national workshop to develop water quality standards and monitoring guidelines has taken place in Dili. The process started in 2008 where a short-term consultant was hired to assess water quality situation and consult various stakeholders in the development of guidelines. Subsequently, in 2009 a water quality study (supported by WHO) was conducted in 4 districts of Timor-Leste to understand the water quality problem and to identify the water quality on various parameters that are of concern of the country. The water quality study draft report and the draft guidelines were discussed and review during the National workshop. The Regional Advisor for Water and Sanitation from SEARO was also participating in this workshop.
About 35 participants from various agencies participated in the workshop. The agencies included National Directorate for Water and Sanitation (under Minister of Infra Structure), Environmental Health Department of Ministry of Health, National Health Laboratory, Ministry of Trade and Commerce Districts Health Offices, UNICEF, NGO and INGOs working in water and sanitation, and Rural Water Sanitation Project.
The participants deliberated very actively on the two drafts. It was decided that 14 physical, chemical and bacteriological parameters will included in the monitoring guideline. Frequency for water quality testing for rural and urban system and the need to conduct regular sanitary inspection for water supply systems to identify the causes of water contamination were also discussed and agreed. A two-day workshop was conducted to discusswater quality standard for Timor-Leste.