Although European Directive 2008/114/EC on the protection of critical infrastructures (Council of the European Union, 2008) does not designate the water supply sector as a critical infrastructure, all governments recognise that their water supply is vital to national security. Water systems are vulnerable to unintentional and intentional threats, which can include physical acts of sabotage, cyberattack on information systems or supervisory control and data acquisition systems, and contamination.
In the event of the anomalous situation of the contamination of drinking water, it is essential that the impacts of potential health risks are minimised during and after the emergency. This document provides guidance to water utility operators on assessing the risks they face and on the factors to consider if they want to improve their detection capabilities. Guidance is also provided on the preparation of response and recovery plans in the event of a contamination event.