On 21 - 23 May, IHE Delft hosted the International Workshop: 'Defining a national information strategy in view of reaching SDG 6'. This event is organized by the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and has UN-Water as special advisers. The workshop focused specifically on SDG targets 6.3 and 6.4, on water quality and availability, both surface water and groundwater.
Participants from Peru, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Uganda, Jordan, Tajikistan, Egypt, Colombia, Poland, Indonesia, Myanmar, Kenya, Chile and The Netherlands attended the international workshop. They discussed how to improve national monitoring, the collection of data and information at the national level to enable countries to improve their water management and ultimately reach the SDG 6 goals by 2030.
At the workshop, masterclasses were given on remote sensing, emission registration by companies, citizen science, drones & sensors, social media data, and model use for data scarce locations. This allowed the participants to discover the possibilities that open data and new methods & technologies bring.
Organizations that provided inputs into the workshop in the form of presentations or masterclasses were Drinkable Rivers, IGRAC, Waterframes, TU Delft, WASHnote, UNEP, FAO, UN-Water, PULSAQUA, Waternet, Netherlands Space Office, Red Cross 510, Digidoen, Deltares and of course IHE Delft
Focus on country needs
Although the global indicators are the context, the workshop dove much deeper to focus on specific country needs. The workshop provided guidance on how to develop an information system, even under limited availability of resources.
Before the workshop, participants were asked to bring one case study of a water management challenge which relates to SDG targets 6.3 and/or 6.4 in their respective countries. They also brought supporting information about their challenge, such as a historical overview of the case, maps of the area in question, and an overview of available data-sets.
Two participants attended from most of the countries, one dealing with policy and the other more from the technical side. This was so that the two participants could work together on their country challenge during the workshop, while considering both the technical and policy side. During the 3-day workshop, participants filled an Information Strategy Model (ISM) with content given to them that related to their case study.
The workshop was appreciated very much. Some of the concluding comments from the participants include: "This is an an applicable workshop, not theoretical. It's what we're looking for in the future because we are fed up with theory. We need something on the ground." "They gave me a lot of information that I will work on when I get back. They taught me how to take the information they gave me and make it applicable to my country."
Information about the workshop is shared on social media through the hashtag #ISMforSDG6.