Australia Launches Guidelines for Water Data Management Policy


1 February 2018: The ‘Good Practice Guidelines for Water Data Management Policy’ were launched on the sidelines of the 28th UN-Water Meeting, held in Rome, Italy, from 1-2 February 2018.

SDG-goals_Goal-03 Good Health & Well-BeingThe Guidelines were prepared under the auspices of the World Water Data Initiative of the High Level Panel on Water, as part of global efforts to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal on clean water and sanitation (SDG 6) and other SDG targets that rely on the development and management of water resources. They were launched by Australia’s ambassador to Italy, Greg French.

The publication comprises 12 chapters that discuss, inter alia, how to: identify different types of water data and their uses; prioritize water management objectives; strengthen water data institutions; establish sustainable water data monitoring systems; adopt water data standards; and implement effective water data information systems.

Lack access to safe sanitation services results in the “entirely preventable deaths” of nearly 1,000 children per day.

Making the case for water reform globally, the Guidelines highlight the growing risk posed by deteriorating water security, due to a combination of factors that include rapid population growth and industrialization, over-extraction, widespread pollution and climate change. The publication notes that more than 1.8 billion people globally source some of their drinking water from contaminated sources, while 2.4 billion people lack access to safe sanitation services, “resulting in the entirely preventable deaths of nearly 1,000 children daily.”SDG-goals_Goal-06 Clean Water & Sanitation

In the closing chapter, the publication offers practical guidance for planning and implementing the “water data reform journey,” by discussing how to: take stock of current policy settings; prepare the case for reform; position for effective implementation; and champion the reforms.

The High Level Panel on Water was established in 2016 by the UN Secretary-General and President of the World Bank Group. Comprising 11 sitting Heads of State and Government and one Special Adviser, the Panel aims to provide the leadership required to champion a comprehensive, inclusive and collaborative way of developing and managing water resources, and improving water- and sanitation-related services. [UN-Water Announcement] [Australian Bureau of Meteorology Announcement] [Publication: Good Practice Guidelines for Water Data Management Policy] [High Level Panel on Water] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on the 28th UN-Water Meeting] [IISDRS Summary Coverage of the 28th UN-Water Meeting]

References: International Institute for Sustainable Development. 2018. Retrieved from

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