During the 28th UN-Water Meeting held in Rome this week, the Good Practice Guidelines for Water Data Management Policy were officially launched.

The guidelines were formulated for use by “officers responsible for formulating and implementing government strategy to improve water information, with the aim of advancing water policy, planning, management and operations.” The guidelines were prepared by the World Water Data Initiative on behalf of the UN and World Bank.

The motivation for the Good Practice Guidelines, as described by the authors, is that “getting water information right is a major challenge, requiring careful planning, sensible investment and diligent execution of strategy.” As such, the guidelines are being delivered in conjunction with, such actions and materials as outlined by the High Level Panel on Water Action Plan (HLPW).

In particular, achieving the desired goals set out in the HLPW requires “a solid information base” of which “reliable water data is a vital pre-requisite for.” The Good Practice Guidelines are the road map to achieving the essential data. To that end, the guidelines have defined seven pillars in water data management:

  1. identifying the priority water management objectives;
  2. strengthening water data institutions;
  3. establishing sustainable water data monitoring systems;
  4. adopting water data standards;
  5. embracing an open data approach to water data access and licensing;
  6. implementing effective water data information systems; and
  7. employing water data quality management processes.

At the World Water Forum in Brasilia this March, the results of the World Water Data Initiative will be showcased alongside other work done under the HLPW.

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