The European Commission Drinking Water Directive (Council Directive 80/778/EEC relating to the quality of water intended for human consumption) is a key instrument for safeguarding public health, establishing quality standards that must be respected where water is supplied for consumption. These standards extend to a range of substances, properties and organisms (called parameters). The directive fixes standards of zero presence for the organisms, total coliforms and fecal coliforms. While these are not necessarily harmful in themselves, they are good indicators of contamination of the water and the possible presence of human pathogens such as salmonella, and their presence is effectively a warning of a risk to public health. The directive therefore stresses the need for strict compliance with the standards. The compliance deadline was 1985.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.