Even as we pay more attention to the current state, uses and impacts of water resources and identify the challenges that the global community faces in managing them, the flow of information to support this work is drying up rather than growing.

Data on almost every subject related to water issues is usually lacking, unreliable, incomplete or inconsistent. We have learnt that merely collecting data is not enough. It must be brought together, analysed and converted into information and knowledge, then shared widely within and between countries and stakeholders to focus attention on water problems at all scales. It is only when the data has been collected and analysed that we can properly understand the many systems that affect water (hydrological, socio-economic, financial, institutional and political alike), which have to be factored into water governance.

WWAP therefore develops indicators for water resources, its use and management. WWAP had established an Expert Group on Indicators, Monitoring and Databases (EG-IMD), which promoted dialogue between potential users of data and indicators and experts in the provision and interpretation of data. This constituted a complementary process that supported WWAP’s input to the UN-Water Task Force on Indicators, Monitoring and Reporting, coordinated by WWAP, that sought to improve data collection processes in order to refine and develop indicators for the resource, its use and management by making them more robust and more useful. WWAP is also developing a Pilot Study on Indicators (PSI), in partnership with GTN-H (Global Terrestrial Network for Hydrology) and GEO/IGWCO (Water Community of Practice), an innovative methodology for estimating country-level total actual renewable water resources (TARWR).

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