Session FT 5.13 : Development and implementation of water information systems
- Office International de l'eau (OIeau)
- Comision Nacional del Agua (Conagua)
- Instituto Nacional de Estadística Geografía e Informática
In order to achieve overall management of water resources, at river basin level in particular, it is of prime importance for decision-makers (Directors of River Basin Organizations and Administrations, Basin Committee members, representatives of Local Authorities and associations of users) to have easy access to comprehensive, representative and reliable information, at all relevant levels, on: the status of surface and ground water resources (quantity and quality) including the variability; the situation concerning biotopes; water uses; the risks of recurring extreme phenomena such as floods or droughts, and accidental pollution, and economic indicators.
It was established that this information is often dispersed, heterogeneous and incomplete ... and that it is rarely comparable and adapted to the prerequisites for objective decision-making. Moreover, it is a fact that public, para-public and even private organizations can have access to this information but lack sufficient means for exchanging, gathering, standardizing, summarizing and for capitalizing it among them.
Whereas public action concerns, in the highest degree, the national territory, and sometimes that of local authorities, water issues are global and concern, in most cases, a simultaneous combination of various levels of action: local, basin, regional, national, international, etc.
The organization of shared water Information Systems (IS) allows the enhancing of existing data and information at the various levels of action with an overall approach which benefits to all the stakeholders. These information systems thus often constitute one of the priority tools to be implemented in order to support an efficient policy for water resources management and risk prevention.
The FT5-13 session of the 4th World Water Forum allowed to underline the advantages of shared water information systems for risk and sustainable resources management.
- Raising the awareness of the political and technical people in charge at all levels for a consistent and comprehensive integrated management of the data and information needed for IWRM and risk management is of primary importance. This awareness should especially lead to the formalization of the role of Water Information Systems as priority tools necessary for good governance of water resources, as well as for resource management and risk prevention.
- An overall strategy for the organization and implementation of the information system has to be defined, based on a consistent assessment of the needs and of what already exists and on the recognition of the central role of data and information producers and managers existing at the various levels
Key messages and orientations for action
It is recommended that concerned Public Authorities and bi- and multi-lateral cooperation agencies supporting projects related to water resources management and use:
- Consider that setting up comprehensive information systems, corresponding to the above-mentioned specifications, is a prerequisite,
- Clearly specify which institutional bodies are responsible for the permanent organization and operation of such systems,
- Guarantee not only sufficient resources for corresponding investments, but also the compulsory financial mechanisms which will secure their long-term continuity,
- Promote the development of means and specific engineering proficiency in this field,
- Support the works that aim at defining common standards and nomenclatures for data administration in order to exchange, compare and summarize the information between partners at all relevant observation levels,
- Promote the setting-up of information systems for water resources and their use at river basin level, whether these basins are national or transboundary, and the organization of national information systems consistent with these basin information systems.
Local Actions presented
Creation and implementation of the national and regional water information system SINA/SIRA's
Jose Guadalupe Trujillo Jimenez, CONAGUA (Comisión Nacional del Agua)
The network composed by the National information system and the Regional information systems on quality, quantity, uses and conservation of water will give inputs for the hydrological and hydraulical planification and programation processes. In addition, this will allow to give concrete expression to the federal law on transparency and public access to governemental information, the law on statistical and geographical information, and National Hydraulical Program (2001-2006)
The Water Information System (SIE) and the flood prevention in France
Pascal Berteaud, Ministère de l'écologie et du développement durable
- French Water information system
- Organisational aspects
- Semantic and technical common language for data exchange (SANDRE)
- Risk management
- Hydrological situation bulletin
- Flood warning map
Flood Vulnerability Index (FVI)
Richard Connor, Japan Water Forum
The FVI is a tool for assessing flood risks (human loss and financial/economic damage) as a function of physical (spatial, water resources), socio-economic and legal conditions and management policies and practises (including availability of warning systems, insurance, etc. ). The FVI will be presented in order to illustrate how such tools can assist practitioners and decision makers in addressing the challenges related to flood risk management..
Know-how on risk management within the Euro-Mediterranean Water Information System
Walter Mazzitti, Organisme: EMWIS / SEMIDE
The Euro-Mediterranean Information System on the know-how in the Water sector has a distributed management among all the Mediterranean countries. The Major risks in the Mediterranean water sector are related to drought, water scarcity, floods and water quality. These risks concerned all the countries; therefore cooperation tools for exchanging know-how are necessary, EMWIS is the main tool for such exchanges at the regional level. The necessary communication between stakeholders to improve risk management at the national level will also be presented.