GEMS/Water in the News

March 2014
Partners and donors of GEMS/Water meet in Nairobi, Kenya
A joint meeting on UNEP GEMS/Water Programme and the World Water Quality Assessment including UNEP’s Water Quality Initiatives was held 3-5 March 2014 with the objectives to provide an overview of UNEP’s water quality initiatives; to develop a joint vision and strategy for GEMS/Water and propose a model of operation and define next steps; to obtain support from partners towards GEMS/Water including water quality initiatives; and to develop an outline for a showcase and policy advice to be tabled at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) and targeted donor side event/s. The outcomes of the meeting include a shared vision for GEMS/Water, its structural elements, next steps to inform UNEA for a broad support of global water quality monitoring and assessment; agreement on possible institutional arrangements for the GEMS/Water implementation; identified critical structural, scientific and financial issues; discussions on the issues of continued data flow, spatial temporal coverage, the options of UNEP Live and complementary efforts; and agreement on roles and responsibilities of partners to ensure/and help transitioning the Programme and contribute to its sustainable future operations.

June 2013 (Information Note)
Announcing the Great Water Quality Data Drive II
The United Nations General Assembly declared in December 2010, that 2013 would be the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation. UNEP’s GEMS/Water Programme is responding with the second Great Water Quality Data Drive designed to encourage the sharing of water quality monitoring data and information to strengthen the scientific basis for global and regional water quality assessments and indices, and early warning. Read more ...

August 2012
GEMS/Water participates in World Water Week
The GEMS/Water Programme will be present at World Water Week in Stockholm to facilitate support for data and information sharing as well as contribute to best practices and experiences related to water challenges and impacts on the environment.. As part of the UNEP calendar of activities at World Water Week, GEMS/Water will (a) provide “stage” demonstrations throughout the week on GEMStat’s advanced online data acquisition functionality as a powerful tool for analyzing and sharing water quality data; (b) participate in the UNEP GEMS/Water coordinated session on Water Quality regarding messages and recommendations from UNEP’s 5th Global Environment Outlook Report (GEO) and the 4th World Water Development Report (WWDR); (c) present a new UNEP initiative for a Global Water Quality Assessment Report where GEMS/Water plays a central role; and (d) participate in UNEP's Global Programme of Action (Land-based Sources of Marine Pollution) sessions on Water Quality and Nutrients. Visit us at the UNEP GEMS/Water booth at the WWW in Stockholm!

March 2012
GEMS/Water participates in the World Water Forum
The GEMS/Water Programme will be present at the 6th World Water Forum. As part of the UNEP calendar of activities at the Forum, GEMS/Water will, amongst others, launch its new website, will present the new upgraded GEMStat Intelligent Online Data Acquisition System, and will participate in the Side Event "Developing water quality guidelines for ecosystems". Visit us at the UNEP GEMS/Water booth at the WWF-6!

February 2012
GEMS/Water supports indices highlighted in the UNEP Year Book 2012
The UNEP GEMS/Water Programme contributed to UNEP Year book 2012 by providing information for a key indicator for environmental trends and issues. Using data from their global network of monitoring stations, GEMS/Water provided an updated index highlighting levels of dissolved oxygen in surface water by region over 4 decades. Available data indicated that concentrations of dissolved oxygen were generally with the widely acceptable limits of 6 mg/L in warm waters and 9.5 mg/L in cold waters. For more in information, please visit

October, 2010
A revitalised GEMS/Water… UNEP and the Department of the Environment of Canada (Environment Canada - EC) signed a new contribution agreement in late 2010 by which EC will provide financial and in-kind technical assistance to UNEP to undertake activities in the context of the GEMS/Water Programme for a period of five years (2009-14). UNEP, through its Division of Early Warning and Assessment, has assumed the management of the Programme.

In order to enhance the Programme’s relevance, efficiency and effectiveness, GEMS/Water has embarked on the development of a new business model, a revision of its governance structure (including management framework), and refocusing of priorities to address new requirements building on its core activities.

Partnerships with a wide range of water quality related organizations, agencies and research will be actively sought to leverage additional expertise and resources to enable products and services to be more relevant to policy decision making and the scientific community, including delivery through capacity building in developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

To implement the revitalized Programme, and in addition to a highly qualified team of technical experts on water quality monitoring based in Canada (Burlington Office within Environment Canada), UNEP has engaged full and part time staff based at its Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

March 22, 2010 (Press Release)
World Water Day 2010. Government of Canada celebrates World Water Day with an investment in water quality research.

March 22, 2009 (Press Release)
World Water Day 2009. Government of Canada Invests $4.5 Million in Canadian and International Freshwater.

March 22, 2008 (Press Release)
World Water Day - GEMS/Water's 30th Birthday

December 2, 2007 (Press Release)
New OpenWater Wiki

November 16, 2007 (PDF)
Launch of Evaluation Services

March, 2007  (PDF)
Water Quality Outlook 

November 20, 2006 (Press Release)
GEMStat Flying with Google Earth

June 5 , 2006 (Media Note)
World Environment Day at WIS-8

March 22, 2006 (Media Note)
GEMStat Interoperability Information Note

March 22, 2005 (Media Note)
Global Water Quality Database Goes Online

June 5, 2004 (Information Note)
The Great Water Quality Data Drive

June 5, 2003 (Information Note)
UNEP GEMS/Water publishes new pathogens database