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History

The OMN has its origins in a process which started in 1988 when a group of institutions decided to join efforts to promote and support the improvement of performance of the drinking water and sanitation sector. As a result of this joint effort, the Operation and Maintenance Working Group (OMWG) of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) commenced operations in 1990, led by the World Health Organization (WHO), coinciding with the end of the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade.

The coordinating function of the OMN was handed over from WHO to the National Institute of Public Health of Japan (NIPH) in 2000, and linked to that shift the Water Supply Division (WSD) of Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare started contributing financially to the WSSCC/WHO collaborative projects, which was the focus of the OMN 2001 to 2007. The termination of support by WSSCC in the course of 2007 led to a restructuring of the OMN framework through the new partnership between NIPH and IWA, and the WSD of MHLW contributed financially to the IWA/WHO collaborative project commencing in 2008 through to the present day.

In recent years, the OMN has established highly-visible online tools to support knowledge and expertise exchange on a range of issues related to O&M. The online toolbox represent a large number of tools and case studies and enables users to share knowledge on best practices. Within this website, there is also an advisory service which facilitates peer to peer learning solving for O&M issues between practitioners and experts. The aim in the coming years is to ensure that a high number of water professionals, in a diverse set of low- and middle- income countries, have access to and use these services.

Furthermore, the on-going development of new knowledge products to support good operation and maintenance will be intensified through the prioritization of key thematic areas of interest, Strategic Asset management, WSP and DEWATS 

Working together with IWA Specialist groups on Strategic Asset Management, Water Safety Plans, Design, Operation and Costs of Large Wastewater Treatment Plants, Design, Operation and Maintenance of Drinking Water Treatment Plants, and Small water and wastewater systems, OMN will aim to continue its effort in supporting improvements made with regards to operation and maintenance of water and wastewater services in low and middle income countries. Additionally, it is important to widen the horizons and expand the support to suppliers in the Africa and Latin Amesrica and the Caribbean.
 

 












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