Handbook on Water Information Systems

International Network of Basin Organizations INBO General Secretariat 21, rue de Madrid 75008 PARIS – FRANCE inbo@inbo-news.org www.inbo-news.org ISBN : 978-2-9563656-0-0 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO 7 place Fontenoy 75007 Paris https://en.unesco.org/ Access to data and information on the status and evolution of the water resource and its uses is a crucial component for any water policy implementation. Unfortunately, the necessary data are often produced and managed by several organizations in different sectors, with little coordination among themselves and in many cases the information available for decision making and public information is not fully adapted to the needs. Today, efforts must be increased to develop the production and the access to water-related data and information in an effective and sustainable way, developing synergies, combining the various resources and data sources, and using procedures and tools adapted to needs. To support this process, INBO and UNESCO, with, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Australian Bureau of Meteorology coordinating the World Water Data Initiative (WWDI) and the International Office for Water (IOWater), have joined forces to write this handbook. This document underlines why water data management is so important for efficient water resource management and introduces the main processes to be considered when implementing a Water Information System (WIS), including data governance; data production; integrated data management and data sharing between institutions; data processing and information production; and information dissemination. It also presents a picture of the main challenges with some case studies showing how information systems are implemented to meet needs in various water sector management domains, such as: IWRM water planning, climate change adaptation, flood management, drought forecasting, water resources and ecosystem protection, sectoral water use management (agriculture, drinking water, energy production, transport, industry, fishing, etc.), data for reporting, and transboundary water resources management. This handbook is addressed to water-sector decision-makers and to those interested in developing their capacities for producing, accessing, processing and making good use of the water-related data and information necessary for implementing an Integrated Water Resources Management policy at basin, national, transboundary or regional level.