In emergency settings, we seek to ensure that daily access to safe water which meets Sphere and WHO standards in terms of quantity and quality is provided to target populations.  In long term developmental programming we seek to ensure communities have access to environmentally sustainable water supplies which meet the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Providing water supply service can involve construction or rehabilitation of water supply infrastructure, support to service providers, cash transfer programming, temporary treatment and distribution systems or enabling people to treat and store water safely at household level.

Guidelines and tools​

Red Cross Red Crescent Guidelines and tools

This manual is aimed at field personnel and volunteers responding to emergencies involving issues of water quality. The manual presents the various options available for household water treatment, with and without products from outside the community.
Contents include:
  • An overview of water quality
  • How to clean water at the household level through various means
  • How to properly store and handle household water
  • How to choose the right method of improving water quality
  • How to promote the use of household water treatment and storage

After an intervention has been chosen, beneficiaries will require training in the use of specific treatment method. This manual contains short fact sheets that can be distributed for use by volunteers in carrying out this training… While the manual has an emergency focus, there is a great deal of information relevant for programs in developing settings.

You can download the HWTS editable version and pictures here to adapt or translate it for your project. Or print new versions with these files: English cover, English manual and French cover French manual.

See below for other languages – Click on any image to download the guideline



Chinese Mandarin








Kirundi (Burundi).

Pidjin Solomon Islands

Bengali Bangladesh


Pidjin Solomon Vanuatu




External Guidelines and tools


Learning resources

Red Cross Red Crescent Learning resources

This document captures key experiences from National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Asia who have implemented programmes with ceramic water filters.

This training curriculum was developed as part of a drought risk reduction project in Kenya and Uganda. The curriculum is for training community-based volunteers on the operation, repair and maintenance of water supply systems.

Advocacy and communication material​

To include resources on this page, or for more information on IFRC initiatives please contact: wash.geneva@ifrc.org