IWRA Compiles Water Quality Guidelines for Different Water Uses
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While there are many water quality guidelines in existence, the report notes, water authorities may not be experienced in applying differing water quality requirements to the appropriate sectors.

With the compendium, IWRA is promoting access to the variety of guidelines available to support decision making, and is seeking to increase awareness of differences in water quality needs when allocating water resources.

October 2018: The International Water Resources Association (IWRA) has issued a compendium of water quality guidelines, following a discussion at the 2018 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) on water quality needs and issues. The compendium is presented in a report titled, ‘Developing a Global Compendium on Water Quality Guidelines.’

While there are many water quality guidelines in existence, the report notes, water authorities may not be experienced in applying differing water quality requirements to the appropriate sectors. With the compendium, IWRA is promoting access to the variety of guidelines available to support decision making, and is seeking to increase awareness of differences in water quality needs when allocating water resources.

The IWRA compendium is envisioned as the first step in establishing an online database of available guidelines for managing water quality.

SDG target 6.3 aims to improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally. Stefan Uhlenbrook, World Water Assessment Program of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), previously highlighted to the 2018 session of the HLPF that better management of water quality is needed to achieve SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) by 2030, noting issues of pollution, climate change impacts, conflicts of water use, and inefficiencies in water use for energy generation and agriculture.

The IWRA compendium seeks to promote the most efficient water quality for a specific purpose, and plans this as the first step in establishing an online database of available guidelines for managing water quality at the national, regional, and international scales. Its report includes sections addressing water quality in five main categories of water use: domestic, agriculture, industry, energy, and ecosystems.

The report draws on guidelines developed by international organizations such as UNESCO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment), the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as guidelines from Australia, Canada, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, and the US. It is published in collaboration with the World Water Council (WWC). The report’s summary findings were initially presented during Korea International Water Week (KIWW) in September 2018. [Publication: Developing a Global Compendium on Water Quality Guidelines] [Executive Summary of Report] [Report Web Page]


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