Euro-Mediterranean Information System on know-how in the Water sector
International portal

News New OpenWater Wiki

This is to invite all, and particularly those interested in analytical methods related to water quality sampling, to visit the new OpenWater Wiki, launched at the 8th Conference of the United Nations Spatial Data Infrastructure Working Group in Bangkok.  The Wiki is at and is designed to share methodological information, tips and tricks on the analysis of water quality samples.  We hope that users of the OpenWater Wiki will see this as a valuable forum to post information and questions relating to existing, new and developing methods for the analysis of water quality samples.

Many people working in water quality monitoring are familiar with unpublished methods manuals maintained by individual laboratories. These manuals are usually an invaluable resource to new members of the lab as they often have specific tips about certain analytical methods, instrumentation, reagent preparation and sourcing, amongst other materials, that are seldom included in published methods descriptions.  

Students in this field often find themselves pouring over such manuals trying to piece together very basic analytical protocol details in order to ensure that their samples are properly analysed and their results are meaningful.  OpenWater Wiki, seeks to fill this gap, by providing a venue in which users from around the world can post their tips and tricks, as well as questions about analytical methods.

In order to be a useful resource, the OpenWater Wiki needs the participation of individuals actively involved in the analysis of water quality samples. We have populated the site with basic methods descriptions and references for standard water quality parameters but hope this is just a starting point and that the site expands to become an active discussion forum about existing and new analytical methods.  

Please visit the moderated OpenWater Wiki, to register as a user, and begin to use it as a resource for yourself and colleagues involved in the analysis of water quality.  Feel free to refer other colleagues and students to this site.  The more participation and feedback that we get in the early stages of the OpenWater Wiki, the more likely it will be that this site will become a success and a useful resource for water quality practitioners worldwide.

We would also be very happy to receive any comments you have about the site structure, or suggestions for further populating the site or encouraging users to participate.  GEMS/Water hopes to facilitate the transfer of information regarding analytical methods in water quality, but the ultimate success of the OpenWater Wiki depends on its users and the more input we receive from potential users, the better we can make this site.
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 four 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 Sabrina Barker / Dr. Richard D. Robarts, Director, GEMS/Water, (email: ;
Phone: +1-306-975-6047 fax: +1-306-975-5143
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information UNEP’s Global Environmental Monitoring System (GEMS) Water Programme
Geographical coverage International
News date 03/12/2007
Working language(s) ENGLISH