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"Information needed to support national sustainable water policies" IWG-Env Stat- International Work Session on Water Statistics – Vienna, Austria (20-22.

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Presentation on theme: ""Information needed to support national sustainable water policies" IWG-Env Stat- International Work Session on Water Statistics – Vienna, Austria (20-22."— Presentation transcript:

1 "Information needed to support national sustainable water policies" IWG-Env Stat- International Work Session on Water Statistics – Vienna, Austria (20-22 June 2005) Session 1 - The need for water statistics : information for water policies By Jean-Michel Chéné United Nations DESA – Division for Sustainable Development

2 Objective On the basis of Agenda 21 and CSD recommendations and on the basis of on-going researchs : How to organize a national integrated water information system and to bring the relevant statistical knowledge to national policy makers to manage their own water resources in a sustainable manner.

3 3Objective GLOBAL INFORMATION AND DEBATE NATIONAL WATER POLICY Decision Making Reporting Monitoring Information Comptes, models GIS,evaluat.qual. Measurements Water Management Integrated Analysis of policy needs

4 4 1. Water, Information and Sustainable Development 2. Information system to support national sustainable water policies 3. Constraints to overcome and operational example 4. Conclusions and recommendations

5 5 1.1Rationale for five pillars of an information system 1) An equilibrium or trade-off has to be found between various factors which contribute, in general, to the quality of life of human beings in harmony with natural resources. 2) However no sustainable development is possible without eradicating poverty and reducing disparities in standards of living, in particular for access to safe water and to sanitation. 3) Current generations have the right to development but also the duty to leave to future generations enough stock of social, environmental and economic capitals to let them the possibility to gain, at least, the same level of quality of life.

6 6 1a Rationale for five pillars of an information system 1. Preservation of limited and vulnerable water resources; 2. access to water and sanitation 3. integration of economic activities concerned by water Improve and measure the processes of decision- making so as to achieve the progressive integration of economic, social and environmental issues in the pursuit of development that is economically efficient, socially equitable and responsible and environmentally sound : 4. Water governance. 5. Time and space issues : because anticipation of impacts is in the interest of current and future generations and knowledge of variability and of spatial distribution of resources and actions is also a necessity for proper analysis and management of hydro-systems.

7 7 1. b Agenda 21 : Needs in integration, coordination and water resources measurement Chapter 8, calls for monitoring and evaluating the development process systematically establishing systems for integrated environmental and economic accounting (IEEA) Chapter 18, fragmentation of responsibilities for water resources development among sectoral agencies. Safe water-supplies and environmental sanitation are vital for protecting the environment, improving health and alleviating poverty. Therefore, at subnational and national levels, it is recommended to strengthen sector monitoring and information management

8 8 1. b Agenda 21 : Needs in integration, coordination and water resources measurement Water resources assessment constitutes the practical basis for their sustainable management and a prerequisite for evaluation of the possibilities for their development. Chapter 40 on information for decision making. Methods for assessing interactions between different sectoral, environmental, demographic, social and developmental parameters are not sufficiently developed or applied.

9 9 1c Recent recommendations of CSD-13 (04-2005) develop and strengthen national monitoring systems on the quantity, quality and use of surface and groundwater resources at national and local levels, and for measuring progress towards internationally agreed goals and targets, as appropriate, as well as for assessing the impact of climate variability and change on water resources, through the following actions: Establishing and managing water information systems; Installing networks for monitoring water resources and quality; Standardizing methodologies and developing monitoring indicators; Transferring monitoring technologies adaptable to local conditions; Disseminating information to relevant stakeholders.

10 10 2- Information system to support national sustainable water policies

11 11 2- Information system to support national sustainable water policies Change within water systems are faster and faster. On the basis of sound structured information, with dynamic tools, decision makers need to adapt, in real time, to new and changing local, basin, national and international pressures on their water resource bases and hydraulic infrastructures. As the future becomes more difficult to predict, and change is faster, there is decreased interest in long term projections and plans. However, there is still a need for a long term vision of impacts, especially in the water sector where major projects, and main reforms, take more than ten years to be implemented. It is more and more necessary to have an estimate of long term impacts of each current decision : more a car is running fast, more you need to see far away.

12 12 2- Information system to support national sustainable water policies An efficient combination of the two complementary approaches consists in increasing resources towards designing and maintaining an integrated water sector information system. This system would be detailed enough, consistent, coherent and robust. It could provide a continuous monitoring of trends of water sector conditions, and in addition it could permit a constant adaptation of scenario modeling in order to estimate, as necessary, long-term impact of current policies.

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14 14 2- Information system to support national sustainable water policies

15 15 2- Information system to support national sustainable water policies

16 16 2-b Objectives and benefits of a national integrated water sector information system Allow informed debates on policy choices available at any given time; improves ability to detect change and enables rapid change of course corrections; provides a representation of spatial distribution of parameters by aggregation of local data; improves foresight and anticipation with long term scenario modeling; provides a structured approach for analysis of system status and service performances; facilitates identification of good practices and of less- effective ones; provides a mechanism of reporting to decision makers and of dialogue with Civil Society;

17 17 3-c Scope of a national integrated water information system

18 18 2-d Implementation steps of an integrated water information system Step 1 : Elaboration of a methodological framework A very high level political will is a prerequisite - inclusive with many administrations and Ministries - to built upon many existing information systems; data-bases; accounts and GIS. Step 2 : Elaboration of a detailed set of descriptors and indicators of the water sector, taking into account the framework of integrated water accounts -Those descriptors should have to be consistent and have clear definitions. -UNSD glossary for water (work in progress). Step 3 : Elaboration of operational procedures -must take into account constraints of fragmented localization of basic information, costs and available resources (human and financial).

19 19 2-e Example of a modular architecture for an integrated water sector information system 1. Water sector governance; 2. Water Resources; 3. Access to assets and services; 4. Productive activities with water; 5. Spatial/variability analysis and anticipation. Five modules have been structured to organize measurement of sector descriptors in order to provide sector analysis on Governance, Resources, Equity, Efficiency and Sustainability.

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22 22 3- Constraints to overcome and operational example The lack of basic data and statistics, both qualitative and quantitative, 1. information on water resources, water infrastructures and water services is either not available or often scattered in different government agencies 2. observation networks have deteriorated in many parts of the world over the past decade and, in most developing countries, databases are inadequate 3. lack of financial and human resources, poor information sharing affects the quality and authenticity of available data for policy planning purposes. 4. water resources data is often collected in isolation of other relevant socioeconomic and environmental variables at the basin level, 5. data are collected and compiled using alternative definitions and classifications across the various data producers, thus rendering the existing datasets incomparable. 6. Finally, increased global reporting requirements but with no visible national benefits caused by too many global initiatives put a further stress on already stretches national capacities and resources.

23 23 Surveys, focal points and data computerisation c

24 24 GPS, digitalization, GIS and classification of basic socio-economic data

25 25 Automatic spatial analysis of data base on water resources (example : water quality)

26 26 Spatial interpolation

27 27 Aggregation and exchange of data

28 28 d

29 29 4 Conclusions and recommendations Similarly to the need of system analysis of the water cycle at basin level in order to be able to derive the appropriate information for water policy makers, there is a need to assess the water information cycle, between policy-monitoring- measurements- information- reports-policy… From national policy needs a set of structured tables (accounts) and definitions (questionnaire) plus qualitative assessments have to be decided at country level. A general framework in 5 modules has been proposed. Then a monitoring strategy and an information management / reporting strategy have to be designed.

30 30 4 Conclusions and recommendations Integrated water accounts, when disaggregated and when expanded, can constitute a consistent part of an integrated water information system. However, to monitor a national water sector, additional qualitative descriptors need to be defined and measured to characterize in particular, progress or decline in: water governance, dissymmetry in information access, water sector efficiency as well as services performance, and sustainability of projects impact. Effective actions for sustainable water management can mainly be conducted at the local and main river-basin levels within a country. This calls for the collection of data at those levels, with participation of several administrations and contribution of generally fragmented databases. The use of GIS and of scientific hydro-system modeling and simulation of development scenari can be a necessity.

31 31 4 Conclusions and recommendations International organizations and donors should give more priority to helping countries willing to develop effectively, over time an integrated water sector information system Similarly, the international community of water specialists, water statisticians, environmentalists, and economists should cooperate under a common UN framework (UNSD/UN-Water). They should mobilize their talents and make converge their experiences in building a set of common coherent definitions of descriptors, tables, accounts, indicators and qualitative assessments of the water sector according to UNSC and UNCSD-13 recommendations.

32 32 4 Conclusions and recommendations Those universal definitions and frameworks would be used by countries for assessing their own progress or decline towards a sustainable and equitable development of their water resources and other water assets. It would also be an incentive for them to share their experience with other countries. Major initiatives, like those of EUWI, could play with UN a key role in providing support to voluntary countries willing to increase their national capacities in monitoring their water sector in a comprehensive way.

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