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About this site and the guidelines

These guidelines will help to advance development and use of household water treatment and storage (HWTS) devices by providing benchmarks for product attributes and performance. PATH’s objectives in distributing the guidelines include:

  • Providing commercial firms and other stakeholders with credible product design information and recommendations.
  • Enabling more rapid development of products with aspirational value to low-income consumers, products of high quality, and products that offer the best performance for a given price.
  • Promoting correct and sustained use of HWTS products—especially among base-of-the-pyramid users—by identifying and prioritizing product attributes with the greatest impact on user behaviors.
  • Increasing innovation, quality, and consumer choice in HWTS products.
  • Catalyzing discussion of product design approaches and the value of developing performance and design standards at the national and international levels.

The ultimate goal is safer drinking water and improved health for people around the world.

About PATH’s work in safe water

Although safe drinking water is essential to good health, in resource-poor settings, water often comes from unsafe sources and carries deadly pathogens. The World Health Organization estimates that 1.8 million people die each year from severe diarrheal disease, which is often attributable to use of unsafe water.

To increase access to clean water among low-income households in the developing world, PATH is working to identify, adapt, and develop appropriate products and business models for HWTS devices. The goal is to build a sustainable commercial market for HWTS products in developing nations.

About PATH

PATH is an international, nonprofit organization that creates sustainable, culturally relevant solutions, enabling communities worldwide to break longstanding cycles of poor health. By collaborating with diverse public- and private-sector partners, PATH helps provide appropriate health technologies and vital strategies that change the way people think and act. PATH’s work improves global health and well-being. For more information, visit