You are here: Home Global Network

Global Network

Global Water Quality Data and Statistics - GEMStat

Visit the GEMStat Website...

The United Nations Global Environment Monitoring System (GEMS) Water Programme is dedicated to providing environmental water quality data and information of the highest integrity, accessibility and interoperability. These data are used in water assessments and capacity building initiatives around the world.

GEMStat is designed to share surface and ground water quality data sets collected from the GEMS/Water Global Network, including more than 4,100 stations, close to 4.9 million records, and over 100 parameters.

How to participate in the GEMS/Water network

Governments and other organizations are vital to our success. Information on how to participate may be found in the Operational Guide for Data Submission (pdf) and Instruction Guide (pdf). Download submitting data and station forms below:

Data Form

English -  GEMS Op Guide Data Submission Form

French -  GEMS Op Guide Data Submission Form

Station Form

English - GEMS Op Guide Station Submission Form

French - GEMS Op Guide Station Submission Form

For guidance on how to design a water quality monitoring program that addresses design, requirements and desired outcomes including recommended sampling sites, monitoring variables, sampling frequencies, operational requirements, data and a quality assurance strategy, refer to the report UNEP GEMS/Water Programme: South Africa Monitoring Program Design.

Countries Participating in Global Data Activities

Global GEMS/Water network


Region Africa North America Latin-Caribbean Europe Asia-Pacific West Asia Totals
# of Stations 368 733 1953 368 636 115 4173
# of Values 317884 1622923 362465 1086407 1401639 24973 4816291
Date Range 1977-2012 1965-2010* 1971-2013 1971-2013 1973-2013 1969-2009 1965-2013


National Focal Points and Status of Participation

Africa      18    Algeria, Burundi, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe
Latin America and the Caribbean     12   Argentina, Plurinational State of Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Uruguay
North America     2   Canada, United States of America
Asia and the Pacific     23   Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia (Democratic Kampuchea), China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Republic of Korea, People's Republic of Lao, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Viet Nam
West Asia     6   Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Palestine, Saudi Arabia
Europe     22   Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
TOTAL     83    
Capacity Building Participation (Non-Data)      40    Albania, Belize, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central Republic of Africa, Chad, Comoros, Republic of Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, The Gambia, Republique of Guinée, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Republic of Moldova, Nigeria, Nuie, Nicaragua, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Slovakia, Suriname, Tajikistan, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vanuata, Zambia
Collaborating Focal Point Datasets      18    Afghanistan - Water & Sanitation Program, Argentina - Instituto de Hidrología- Llanuras (IHLLA), Bangladesh - Hydro-Chemical Analysis Chandpur District, Brazil - International Institute of Ecology, Canada - 1) Saskatoon Wetlands and 2) Huron-Erie Corridor - Metals in Sediment, China - Water Supplies Department of Hong Kong,; Ecuador - Western Amazon Basin - Chrevon Inc, Iraq - Mesopotamian Wetlands 1973, Israel - Lake Kinneret, Russian Federation - Ecological Union Moscow Region, South Africa - 1) Hartsbeespoort Dam; 2) Wetlands of South West Cape Province and 3) Marion Island, Bolivia/Brazil/Congo/Ecuador/French Guiana/Peru/Venezuela - Hydro-Géodynamique de Bassin Amazonien (ORE-HYBAM), Uganda - Lake Victoria, Zimbabwe - 1) Ecology of Lake Kariba and 2) Lake Kariba

GEMS Parameter Classification

Region Physical/
Nutrients Major Ions Metals Organic Matter Organic
Microbiology Hydrological
& Sampling
Date Range
Africa 78893 84501 117077 13168 7918 2831 8444 313 4739 1977-2012
N. America 145304  39628  53318  108896  10956 3816  5613  9782  1245610  1965-2010*
L&C America 137654 66560 52674 37343 19441 12138 21193 8313 7149 1971-2013
Europe 280442 166051 150455 226020 80306 57872 41799 82657 805 1971-2013
Asia - Pacific 539674 266152 185323 119548 79293 12579 63759 130535 4776 1973-2013
West Asia 8200 7632 2618 1021 135 3 196 0 5168 1969-2009
Totals 1190167 630524 561465 505996 198049 89239 141004 231600 1268247 1965-2013

Different health requirements and water uses need different degrees of water quality. The needs of an aquatic ecosystem are the most important. If the ecosystem is healthy, then the others fall into place. The suite of substances that can be monitored are:

and Use
Human Health
Drinking Water
Agriculture Municipal/
Ecosystem Stability,
Structure & Health
Tourism &
Parameter Total Coliform
Faecal Coliform
Chlorophyll A Pathogens
Heavy Metals
(particularly in Sediment)
pH - acidity
Major ions
Suspended Solids

GEMS/Water-South Africa programme design report 
South Africa has designed a system for reporting water quality data to GEMS/Water, read more...