Training and Resources

GEMS/Water provides a modular approach to training in monitoring and water quality management.


Quality Control

GEMS/Water is committed to maintaining a database of consistent and reliable quality. As such, quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) are integral components of all aspects of the monitoring programme.


Water Quality Database

Visit the GEMStat Website...

GEMStat is designed to share surface and ground water quality data sets collected from the GEMS/Water Global Network, including more than 3,700 stations, close to 4.3 million records, and over 100 parameters.

Our Mission


Our goal is

To support global, regional, and national environmental assessment and reporting processes on the state and trends of water resources by providing access to quality-assured data and information on water quality in freshwater ecosystems worldwide.

What's New

Effective April 1, 2014 and with the termination of the Environment Canada funding for GEMS/Water on March 31st 2014, the new programme has moved into a transition phase and co-hosting arrangements structure for which the different components are outlined below.

Under the transition phase of new GEMS/Water, a Global Programme Coordination Unit (GPCU) will be established, based at UNEP’s Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA) in Nairobi, Kenya with support and input from UNEP’s inter-divisional Water Group and a Steering Committee (SC). Services to inform policy making and coordinating direction are part of the responsibilities of the GPCU.

The Steering Committee will be chaired by the Director of UNEP-DEWA and will provide guidance to the GPCU on how to better synergise with other similar and complementary programmes/activities. SC will assist in soliciting wider support for the implementation of GEMS/W programme as well as partnerships to build stronger networks of collaborators. The GEMS/Water Programme will also be supported by a global network comprised of regional hubs, National Focal Points (NFPs and Collaborating Focal Points (CFPs). A set of collaborating centres with expertise in particular areas will complement the new network structure. Under such proposed arrangements, UNEP will strengthen the GPCU to provide a more effective coordination and management.


The GEMStat component will be hosted by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) through the German Federal Institute for Hydrology (FIH).

After 35 years of successful operation of the GEMS/Water Global Data Centre including the global water quality database GEMStat in Canada, the Government of Germany supports the operation of GEMStat as of April 1st, 2014. Under an agreement between UNEP and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the German Federal Institute for Hydrology (FIH) shall provide the appropriate professional personnel, technical facilities and their maintenance and technical support.

As part of its efforts towards ensuring credible water quality data from laboratories in developing countries it will support capacity building activities including conducting of performance evaluation studies in collaboration with the GPCU. The World Water Quality Assessment (WWQA) report will make use of the Water Quality data at the GEMStat database to contribute to targeted assessments.

In Ireland, a new GEMS/Water Centre for Capacity Building is foreseen to lead the capacity building activities with support from a consortium of Irish universities and institutions.

The centre will partner with the FIH in Germany as co-hosts of the new GEMS/Water Programme and engage with regional hubs and other partners as appropriate. The capacity building component of the programme will build knowledge and skills for monitoring and analysing of Water Quality parameters at national, regional and global as well as institutional levels. If sufficient resources are available, the GEMS/Water member countries should eventually reach the same standard in analysis.

The draft work plan (2016-17) for the GEMS/Water Programme now is available here

Global Network

Contact Us

The UNEP GEMS/Water Programme (UNEP Headquarters)
Division of Early Warning and Assessment, DEWA
United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP
P.O. Box 30552
Nairobi, 00100, KENYA
telephone: +254 20 762 3450+254 20 762 3450

General Inquiries: