Eye on Water Security

Special Initiative: Eye on Water SecurityWater resources and security, including the protection of vulnerable water systems and protection against hazards such as floods and droughts, are a key foundation for sustainability. The trans-boundary nature of water resources and its inter-linkages with domains such as ecosystem management, agricultural and industrial policy and public well-being represent key challenges to the management of water security. As such the monitoring of the quantity and quality of water resources, their distribution, trends and conditions is of worldwide concern to a broad range of stakeholders across environmental, civil, agricultural and other sectors. The aim of the Eye on Water Quality Special Initiative is to realise the potential of collaboration of data sharing and ultimately implement this to assist decision makers align supply with demand.

The expected outcomes of this Special Initiative are to:

(a) Enhance the dissemination of data, information and knowledge from the global observing systems and other global initiatives to the regional and national level, thus enhancing sub-national, national and regional capacities;

(b) Lower the barrier for relevant data, information knowledge and services to be collected, stored, discovered and applied across the boundaries that define communities of practice – whether bounded by geography, philosophy, area of expertise or scientific discipline – by refinement and application of semantic web technologies to the water domain;

(c) Lower the barriers to the publication of water relevant data, information and knowledge by motivated custodians, particularly in developing countries.

An initial group comprising UNEP, CSIRO (Australia), OGC, GEOSS, the UNSDI and the European Commission has already initiated work on a special initiative program combining elements of specific candidates submitted previously. Additional partners to be engaged include GRDC, World Water Monitoring Day, and further elements of the UN (UNESCO IHP and IHE, IAEA, WMO, and WHO). Beneficiaries and target umbrella audiences include UN-water, the UN Economic Commissions, the members of World Water Council and members of the World Water Forum.