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As a service to national water quality monitoring agencies, UNEP’s GEMS/Water Programme undertakes specialized auditing activities.  These include a review and evaluation of the efficiency, technical rigor and scientific credibility of all aspects of water quality monitoring programmes, from design to implementation.  GEMS/Water provides national laboratories with the technical basis to judge their own ability to address their departmental water quality monitoring responsibilities.  As well, GEMS/Water can assist laboratories to prepare for accreditation to international standards, including ISO/IEC 17025.

For each on-site review, GEMS/Water creates a team tailored to meet the specific needs of the country’s monitoring programme and/or laboratory operations.  The team’s experience includes: monitoring programme design and implementation; automated sensors and real-time monitoring; field sampling techniques; environmental assessments and data reporting; development of intergovernmental monitoring agreements; analytical chemistry research and methods development, assessment of laboratory quality management systems for compliance with ISO/IEC 17025; development and implementation of international laboratory quality assurance (QA) programmes; design and interpretation of performance evaluation, and proficiency testing studies.

An overview of the features, benefits and outputs of the evaluation services is contained in the attached brochure, which is also available in English in PDF format at

What does GEMS/Water do?
Since its establishment in 1978, UNEP’s Global Environmental Monitoring System (GEMS) Water Programme has become the primary source for global environmental water quality data. It is a multi-faceted water science centre oriented towards knowledge development on inland quality issues throughout the world.  Major activities include monitoring, assessment and capacity building.

The twin goals of the programme are to improve water quality monitoring and assessment capabilities in participating countries, and to determine the status and trends of regional and global water quality.  These goals are implemented through the GEMS/Water data bank, at, including water quality data and information from more than 2,800 stations in 100 countries, with over two million entries for lakes, reservoirs, rivers and groundwater systems. By compiling a global database, GEMS/Water adds value to country-level data by contributing to global and regional water quality assessments.

Through its Quality Management System (QMS), UNEP’s GEMS/Water Programme improves global water quality data by ensuring the comparability and validity of analyses performed by laboratories worldwide, and by encouraging and supporting data integrity at all levels.

The programme also carries out evaluations on a range of water quality issues and methodologies. GEMS/Water data have been used by other organizations, including the UN system and universities around the world.

Contact information GEMS/Water, Dr. Richard D. Robarts, Director (email: ;
Phone: +1-306-975-6047 fax: +1-306-975-5143
News type Inbrief
File link ../PDF/GMES_Evaluation_services
Source of information GEMS/Water
Geographical coverage International
News date 19/11/2007
Working language(s) ENGLISH