WIS 3 - Complete Abstract Listing
 

Oral Presentations

Information Society has become an important issue being addressed by Governments, Regional and International Organizations in order to optimize resources, achieve synergy and ensure access to information and information services by both scientific and non-scientific people. Information society for all will require global, national and local infra-structure and info-structure to allow people to participate in it.

The paper is structured in four chapters: An Overview of the Information Society, The Information Society Situation in Latin America and the Caribbean, UNESCO and the Information Society, and Some Reflections and Conclusions.

The first chapter presents an explanation on the relevant issues of a holistic information society programme, on the basis of national and international organizations documents. Comments on the information society "Green Book" prepared by the Portuguese Minister for Science and Technology as well as "Policy Recommendations for Action" developed by OCDE on the Global Information Infrastructure-Global Information Society (GII-GIS) are also presented. Chapter II sheds some light on Internet key data (regional and worldwide), discusses briefly the telecommunications trends in Latin America and the Caribbean Region, establishes some distinctions among information sciences and information society needs, presents information towards on-going plans in selected Latin American countries (Brazil, Chile and Mexico) and offers some explanations on the expected services from Internet2. In Chapter III, a short description of UNESCO's Information Society activities and the vision, values and objectives of the new "Information for All" programme are shown. Some reflections and conclusions on the needs of international cooperation on scientific digital information are explained in the last chapter of this paper, particularly as regards to digital scientific specialized libraries. The five UNESCO scientific intergovernmental programmes (MAB, IOC, IGCP, IHP and MOST) may constitute a possible framework for UNESCO's action in the coming years, as far as digital scientific information is concerned.
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In some way developed countries have such status due to their abundance of water resources, compared to developing nations. Paradoxically water management and institutions are weaker in arid or poor countries, even when water is more scarce, difficult, expensive and strategic for progress. Thirsty people appreciate the value of water more than those with abundant resources do, but the trouble is that weak institutions and poor knowledge produce a persistent state of confusion and pressure to keep solving immediate emergencies, and rarely planning and attacking root causes. Information systems may contribute a lot to break this vicious circle, particularly nowadays when it is inexpensive and fast to distribute knowledge through Internet. Reliable information may accelerate institutional consolidation, as well as public awareness. This vision is still unclear for many stakeholders in developing countries, so they don’t give much support to water information. As mere personal initiatives the author has shoved several information strategies and programs aimed to distribute basic data and technical knowledge among water users and authorities. Some examples are: SeeeA, Atl_tlali, Apas_si, GloBi, "water saving in federal buildings", and "water facts and games".
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In this paper there will be a short introduction about IRC and my personal interest in water information, and related to that, how the idea for the FID Water Information Special Interest Group (FID-WISIG) developed. In addition there will be a description of the launch meeting for the group, how the group needs to further develop, the (possible) outputs of the group, and a brief consideration of the context in which of the FID-WISIG has come into being, and what that context might mean in its future relationship with other related initiatives/organizations such as the Water Information Summit.
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Senior Research Fellow and Hydrogeologist Prof.Dr. Gerald Lalor, General Director, ICENS Basil Fernandez, Managing Director, Water Resources Authority, Jamaica

All information dealing with ground water in one of surface water basins of Jamaica, the Rio Minho Basin, has been transferred into a dedicated, object-oriented Ground Water Information System (GWIS). The software used to establish such a GWIS is the United Nations Ground Water for Windows package, popularly known as the UN GWW software. The GWIS stores information on lithology of wells, water quality over an extended period of time, evolution of water levels, abstractions for irrigated agriculture (notably sugar cane), domestic water supply, and industry, and much more. Numerous maps and dedicated diagrams, graphs, and cross sections are made a part of the GWIS. The interpretation and analysis of data is assisted with the tools that are integrated into the GWW software. The data are presented in "four" dimensions: two spatial dimensions, time and depth. After the GWIS was created and information interpreted, it was decided to transfer all data to a dedicated website and make the data public. The site is at URL http://www.geocities.com/kkaranjac. The site contains about 14 MB of raw data, maps, diagrams, good quality printouts and textual interpretation. The highlight of the Internet-based presentation is the discussion and graphical interpretation of the vulnerability of the ground water in this basin of Jamaica. This is a joint project of the International Centre for Environmental and Nuclear Studies (ICENS) of University of the West Indies and Water Resources Authority of the Jamaican Government.
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Maria do Carmo Zinato, Amyra El-Khalily, and Alberto J. Palombo

Brazil is a country with roughly 172 million people and 8.5 million square kilometers. The country has about a dozen of cities with more than a million inhabitants, and 3 million hectares under irrigation. With a multi-cultural fiber and longtime traditions, the quest for sustainability and integrated watershed management depends greatly on the strategy to bring water information to the stakeholders. Opinion Leaders among these communities, large and small, are important conduits to bring the information in support to sustainable water management in Brazil.

The increasing interest of integrated water management in Brazil is product of the evolution and consensus-building around the concept of harmonization of environmental stewardness with the needs of economic development. In the middle of such a dichotomy, there is a need to raise awareness about water management among the users at large. With the passage of the Law 97/9.433 "National Water Policy", the Brazilians have a framework to resolve many issues regarding conflicting uses, pricing, and water resources planning to guarantee fair access to all.

Nevertheless, the lack of information about available technologies, appropriate management practices, and the water law itself, continue to be the greatest stumbling block to overcome the dichotomy of economic development vs. environmental stewardness. Fonte d' Água, an information dissemination service promoted by the Florida Center for Environmental Studies in partnership with several Brazilian stakeholders, intends to assist in bridging that gap. Within the tenet of building a hemispheric network for information exchange among water professionals, namely, the Inter-American Water Resources Network (IWRN), the outreach efforts to disseminate appropriate technical information about sustainable water resources management, strategies for community participation, and more importantly, management instruments for fair pricing of water access for multiple uses in a sustainable fashion, become one of the most important activities to implement the National Water Policy in Brazil. This model is an appropriate example for the IWRN to promote in other regions.

Last, the issue of environmental commodities brings the necessary market driven instruments to allow fair access and pricing to water for different uses. As the information for sustainable water is disseminated, there is a great advantage of providing the "whole picture" about how we can make better use of the resource for all.

If the opinion leaders can be convinced of the value of water as a social and economic commodity, and the public at large becomes more conscious of the "real" value of water for economic and social benefits, then the quest for sustainability will become a much lesser abstract concept, and the changes of current attitudes of the stakeholders will yield to shared cooperation towards integrated water management.
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By cross-linking with hundreds of groups involved in management of the Great Lakes ecosystem, the Great Lakes Information Network (GLIN) represents a united web presence for the entire region and a model for other shared watersheds around the globe. Since 1993, GLIN has used an ecosystem approach in its navigational design, recognizing the integrated nature of the water, land, human and economic resources of the binational Great Lakes basin. For the year 2000, the GLIN project team undertook a bold redesign of the site, including development of a database interface for the web server. While transparent to the user, the database application greatly simplifies the maintenance of the thousands of GLIN links to external web pages and allows for development of two, exciting new components of GLIN: The Education and Curriculum Homesite (TEACH Great Lakes) and a Maps and GIS regional spatial data library.
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In communication research our key questions used to be, "who says what to whom with what outcome?" Increasingly however, communicators must also ask, "who’s getting what information, from where, under what circumstances?" Many of us now use computers and the Internet as easily as the telephone. In our connected world, where access to unlimited data is instantaneous, it is easy to forget that most of the world is just learning how to "sign on". Many more people still aren’t connected at home. Right now, we park our information in a location and encourage access. In the future this may not be sufficient. There are those who need our information who will require us to "push" it through a communication channel, while others will access the information independently "pulling" it through. As communicators in water and environmental issues it is critical that we know who is accessing what and how so we can ensure that what we have to offer is what our audience needs as well as what we need to provide them. This presentation will address who uses the web, for what purpose, under what circumstances and to what end. The session goal is to give environmental and water communicators basic information about their target audience and who is targeting them.
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The specialised information from the public sector used to be scattered and mixed with institutional information and that makes it difficult for the citizen to access.

As an example of the initiatives undertaken by government to compile this type of information, we present herein HISPAGUA, the Spanish system of Water Information, created by the Ministry of Environment, in co-operation with the Research Centre on Public Works (CEDEX) and the Scientific Information and Documentation Centre (CINDOC/CSIC).

HISPAGUA is the Spanish focal point for information on continental waters, and is a member of the Euro-Mediterranean Information System on Water (SEMIDE), a project supported by the European Union and by the three countries which forms the Technical Unit: Spain, Italy and France.
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GLOBWINET - the Global Water Information Network - is an Associated Programme of the Global Water Partnership. It is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ). Its mission is to promote the Rio/Dublin principles on Integrated Water Resources Management, to improve exchange of experiences by electronic and personal networking and to provide, through knowledge management, a vehicle for economic cooperation and regional integration. GLOBWINET provides information on transboundary River Basin Organisations, on national and international water law and legislation, on national water administrations and gives an overview of the water resources situation within a country. So far, two regional networks developed under the roof of GLOBWINET. The Southern African Water Information Network - SAWINET - and the German Water Information Network - GEWINET.

SAWINET is a regional network supported by the countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). During a regional workshop in July 1999 the components of SAWINET were identified. SAWINET is presently developed in cooperation with the Southern African Technical Advisory Committee (SATAC) in Harare/Simbabwe and in cooperation with the SADC Water Sector Coordination Unit in Maseru/Lesotho. GEWINET provides quality information on the German experience in international water management.
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Agricultural operations can have a negative effect on water quality. The "National Water Quality Inventory, 1998 Report to Congress" (the most recent biennial report in this series) indicates that agriculture is the leading source of water quality impairment of assessed rivers and lakes in the United States.

Information is a key ingredient of problem solving. With the emergence of the World Wide Web, many documents produced by state and federal agencies, extension services and other organizations involved with water issues are being published and freely distributed on the World Wide Web.

While water quality information may be available electronically, the information is scattered across many Web sites. In addition, the organization and access mechanisms among sites is not consistent. These characteristics make it difficult to rapidly locate and access a comprehensive collection of documents related to a particular water issue associated with agriculture. Internet search engines are not precise enough to easily locate specific documents.

To improve access to electronic documents covering water and agriculture, the Water Quality Information Center at the National Agricultural Library has developed a prototype database (located at http://www.nal.usda.gov/wqic/wqdb/esearch.html) of more than five hundred of these documents.

This paper will describe the database's development, usage and maintenance, and future directions.
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The fragmented and inaccessible character of current freshwater information hinders the participation of many stakeholders in water management. The Water Resources and Wetlands Atlas - project is designed to fill this gap in web-based data and information management. A range of key partners provides access to their data through a customised interfaces that allows integrated access, analysis and visualisation. The WWRA will go beyond available portals in the integration of various on-line databases and the customised and targeted presentation of information. Users may query data on freshwater ecosystem management and the results will be presented in customisable maps and figures. The Atlas will inform user-groups and stakeholders on water management issues; support knowledge development, policy design and decision-making; and empower people to participate in water resources management dialogues. A set of tools to present data in convincing and revealing maps and figures will improve the dissemination of information and the awareness on freshwater issues of a wider audience. In short, the Water Resources and Wetlands Atlas links relevant data, institutions and expertise, integrates different sets of data from the global to the basin level and provides an interactive communication platform empowering stakeholders from regional to global levels.
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Lorana A. Schmid, David Boldt, Dan Winkless

The USGS maintains a distributed network of computers and fileservers for the storage and retrieval of water data collected at approximately 1.5 million sites around the country. The goal of NWISWeb is to provide an easy to use, geographically-seamless interface to this large volume of USGS water data maintained in 48 separate NWIS (National Water Information System) databases nationwide. This data includes site information, time-series (flow, stage, precipitation, chemical), peak flow, ground water, and water quality. Data is updated from the NWIS sites on a regularly scheduled basis; real-time data is transmitted to NWISWeb several times a day. NWISWeb provides several output options: real-time streamflow, graphs of water-levels and water quality, data tables and site maps; tabular output in html and ASCII tab delimited files; lists of selected sites as summaries with reselection for details. To overcome the vulnerabilities of our distributed structure USGS has developed a system, NatWeb, that will provide reliable access to data and information via the World Wide Web and back-up for real-time data processing during emergencies and outages. NatWeb is a robust, distributed system of mirrored web servers that will seamlessly provide public access to locally managed data and information from internet gateways.
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The Guaraní aquifer (1.200.000 km2 in Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay) is one of the world's largest underground freshwater reservoirs. Being a trans-national aquifer leads to a need of agreements which should address the actual and future uses as well as the cultural, social, administrative, and legal features of four different countries. Recently, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has launched a sustainable management water resources project for the Guaraní aquifer, with future investments of U$A 25.000.000 granted by the World Bank. As applied to the objectives of the integrated water resources management, an Internet-based site would help in: (a) displaying the existing information for the direct benefit and knowledge of all stakeholders and decision-makers or water managers; (b) letting know -prior to their implementation- new developments initiatives, studies, active policies, etc.; and (c) allowing the stakeholders to voice their comments and suggestions. Hence, the Internet site should host at least the following information: layout of the aquifer on a map with national and state boundaries, management agencies both at the federal and state levels, federal and state laws or regulations referred to water resources, natural resources, and environmental protection, library of publications dealing with the Guaraní aquifer, and a list of on-going studies and development projects.
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Poster Presentation Group I

Ricardo Sandoval, Montserrat Serra, Paulino Vargas, Luisa Herrera, Brenda Gamas, Juan M. Huerta

The Comision Estatal de Agua de Guanajuato (State of Guanajuato Water Commission) has set as one of its objectives: "to become a state-of-the-art water management organization that can foster a new relationship between the state citizens and the state water resources".

Considering that water resources are critical for the sustainable development of the state of Guanajuato, in central Mexico, CEAG has as one of its mandates, to devise actions that improve the ways water is used throughout the state.

To achieve this objective, one of the immediate actions has been the development of an Internet-based information system, termed Sistema Estatal de Informacion del Agua State Water Information System), with the acronym SEIA. The purpose of SEIA is to provide its users easy access to statistics; graphics, tables, maps and drawings, as well as documents.

SEIA will enable CEAG personnel and other organizations related to the management and use of water resources in the state to input, extract, correlate and process water information. In addition, SEIA will include access to other national and international information systems that complement the information requirements of its users.

The first stage of development of SEIA is the construction of an Internet portal that gives state water resources users access to state data organized by theme and type. Also, SEIA is linked to several of the specialized CEAG data bases that deal with water policy, aquifer information, rural community planning, municipal operators of potable water supply, and the CEAG's own geographical information system. SEIA Internet portal capabilities include discussions forums, where project members and teams in different geographic locations can easily and effectively discuss and coordinate their actions.
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A key component of improving water resource management in Florida is providing local stakeholders with access to quality assured data. Unfortunately, the data concerning water resources are often dispersed between multiple agencies, in proprietary databases, incompatible formats, and almost never easily accessible by citizens and stakeholders. The net result is often a duplication of sampling effort among agencies and lack of awareness and support from the local citizenry for restoration and management efforts. One solution is to build an online Watershed Atlas that serves data from a data warehouse in a citizen-friendly application. The Florida Center for Community Design and Research at the University of South Florida is developing several Atlas applications for counties in Florida. Techniques for developing an Atlas include creating server side applications that support all Internet browsers such as: an SQL-based Water Resources Atlas Database (W-RAD), an ArcIMS mapping Application, and Active Server Page technology. Examples from Hillsborough County, FL (http://www.lakeatlas.usf.edu/) and Seminole County, FL. will be discussed. Preliminary results of this work indicate the Atlas application enhances communication between agencies and citizens, fosters use of quality assured data in decision-making, and increases interest in volunteer monitoring programs.
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Armenian water legislation needs fundamental renewal. Though the Water Code has been adopted, its provisions and norms simply declare rights and obligation without providing a relevant and decent mechanism for their implementation. Armenia needs to make water legal acts and norms comply with provisions of the international law. To make water protection efficient, Armenia should elaborate a complex approach, which will include laws on water quality standards as well. Current legislative acts have been adopted during the Soviet period and as a result, they do not reflect modern policy issues. Armenia has to elaborate a sustainable water policy for the country taking into account regional policies and achieve collaboration to implement it in the region. Water policy should include: 1. Sufficient level of water supply. 2. Sufficient water supply for other economic needs 3. Environmental protection. 4. Prevention of negative impacts of floods and drought. 5. Open and available information about water resources condition, public participation in water related decision making and access to justice on water issues. The Environmental Public Advocacy Center has won a grant within the framework of Rule of Law program. One of the aims to achieve within this grant is to establish and maintain free of charge web site on Armenian legislation. Now our web experts and attorneys work together to make the site contain all the necessary information which will make general public of the environmental legislation and enable them to protect their rights.
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The EPA Office of Water (OW) is initiating georeferencing of all OW water-related data to National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) reaches. EPA's Reach Indexing Tool (RIT) and other geocoding tools will be utilized to assign reach addresses for point and nonpoint water-related features. A reach address associates a water-related feature (STORET monitoring station, PCS outfall,...) of interest with a specific location on an NHD reach (linear segment of a river, lake, or other water body). Addresses will be stored in EPA's Reach Address Database (RAD), an instance of ArcSDE. EPA and the public will be able to seamlessly access water program information through EPA's EnviroMapper, improving implementation and oversight of watershed-scale programs such as the Total Maximum Daily Load and Unified Watershed Assessment programs. This effort, which could serve as a model for Agency-wide implementation, will enable implementation of reach and watershed based programs such as the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Unified Watershed Assessment (UWA) programs.
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Alberto Palombo and Vânia S. Nunes

The Pantanal, one of the largest wetlands of the world, remains relatively protected. Despite of that, it has been threatened in the recent years. The Pantanal is not well known internationally due to scarce information, disseminated through scientific magazines, not easily readable by decision and policy makers. Embrapa Pantanal, The Florida Center for Environmental Studies, Ducks Unlimited and The Nature Conservancy are working with stakeholders in the design of proper policies allowing economical development as well environmental conservation, based in water resouces. There are many challenges to deal with, such as communication tools, investment capabilities, integrated management of the whole process to produce adequate information. To accomplish this task these institutions are working on projects using GIS. Data have been collected and organized in a georreferenced data base to be analyzed and to generate quality information. This database will be accessible through Internet and will be connected to other local and neighbour countries databases. CES, with Embrapa Pantanal and other institutions, has already launched a site for the Everglades Pantanal Initiative to be a virtual meeting place for those who are interested on the sustainable development of the Pantanal Matogrossense (Brazil-Bolivia-Paraguay) and the Florida Everglades (USA). This site will work as a RING of all websites, for both ecosystems, where quality information can be found, compared, analyzed and discussed for the integrated management of these ecosystems.
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Water is essential for survival. Today about 200 million people in India do not have access to safe drinking water. Most of the water resources are polluted with untreated/partially treated wastes from industry, domestic sewage and fertiliser/pesticide run off from agricultural fields. It was reported from published sources that 1.5 million children under 5 years die each year due to waterborne diseases and the India experienced a loss of 200 million person days of work a year because of these diseases. The present study attempts to analyse the water quality with reference to selected major Indian rivers and to explain the extent of human impact on the water quality in relation to the outbreak of water borne diseases; To estimate the quantity of water usage of various sectors and also in relation to population growth and pressure; To discuss the major pollution parameters of selected major rivers in relation to water borne diseases; To analyse the disease pattern with reference to deteriorating water quality and the spatial patterns of variation; To understand the human response with reference to water availability, safe drinking water supply, water quality and quantity of use and water quality in relation to the knowledge of the respondents on selected water borne diseases.
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While bringing the promise of a higher degree of accessibility to information, the emerging technology of the Web also poses a new set of challenges for information managers. Since every organization with information on the same topic is just a mouse click away from every other such organization, information managers can no longer afford to live within the discreet data confines of their own organizations. Efforts to visualize the ongoing water quality monitoring activities in the Ohio River Valley illustrate these new Web information challenges. This paper will discuss how these challenges are being met through the efforts of U.S. EPA and the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) to forge a new dynamic Web information partnership with all the organizations monitoring water quality in the Ohio River Valley. This discussion will particularly focus on the use of GIS visualization techniques and U.S. EPA’s uniquely customized GIS approach, known as the Fully Integrated Environmental Location Decision Support (FIELDS) system, to create a new collaborative context that will enable the public to better understand all the water quality information being collected within this important watershed.
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The Internet is a vital part of growing and maintaining an international cadre of well-informed people working to save lakes from the serious threats facing them. To meet the diverse needs of LakeNet’s wide audience (which includes lake managers, government officials, academics, policymakers, and non-profit organizations), LakeNet utilizes a website, a listserve forum, and video conferencing. LakeNet is a fast growing network of more than 70 lakes worldwide, with over 500 individual members. The main goal of LakeNet’s website is to serve as a portal to well-documented, particularly useful information about lakes on the Internet. Network members encourage LakeNet to serve a sorting and editing function regarding the tremendous amount of water information that exists on the web. Links to organizations, individual lake websites, on-line journals, subject areas, and water listserves are provided. The LakeNet listserve provides members with up-to-the-minute news on lakes, and a forum for discussion. The LakeNet website is also used to clarify and document the major threats to lakes and to share promising strategies. On-line video conferencing has been very useful in building relationships and accomplishing concrete steps. LakeNet plans to convert its website and listserve archive into a fully searchable database in the near future.
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Water consumption statistics and demand reduction plan for public buildings
Rodriguez, Buenfil Mario O. Most mexican territory is arid, and presently with a huge overexploitation of its groundwater, the main source for urban water supply. This implies an urgent need to reduce individual consumptions in order to cope with growing cities. Population will keep swelling during the next 50 years, in spite of present family planning programs. As options for new water sources are practically non-existent, the only chances are reducing unit consumptions, and subtracting liquid from irrigation agriculture. Individual water allotments in cities must be reduced in around 40 % during the next 20 years (ref. http://www.geocities.com/mario_buenfil/A/crisis_m.htm). Demand reduction requires various simultaneous and combined strategies, copping with different fronts of the problem. One of these fronts is public buildings, with focus on: improving maintenance practices; hygienic and water handling habits of employees and visitors; leak detection; retrofitting sanitary and irrigation devices; as well as water audits and statistics. The program has ample web pages with instructions for people interested in the program. Some useful part of the site, to share through the WaterWeb.org ring, are the consumption statistics already collected from various federal institutions, and links to institutions with similar water efficiency programs. See site: http://www.imta.mx/otros/uso_eficiente/ahoragua.htm
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One of the main objectives of IUCN’s program for South America is to propitiate the conservation of water and wetlands and particularly to develop synergy and complementation for the implementation of the joint CBD - Ramsar Convention work plan. At the same time, the Union is focusing on developing an integrated system that allows effective use and value of the information and knowledge resources concerning conservation in South America. Under this scope, IUCN is implementing web based knowledge and information products and services, such as the South American Wetlands web site, aimed to serve, in the midterm, as a South American clearinghouse on the subject. This is being developed in such a way that will allow complete assessment of the proposed results and will provide comprehensive documentation on the theme, as a monitoring and evaluation tool for the future. This is implemented through database driven web sites that use Cold Fusion technology and allow program and project staff to enter information in the system by a straightforward method, which places information on-line immediately. These tools reduce the costs generally associated with Html design, minimize the possibility of errors and are an efficient way of deploying and maintaining web based information. IUCN has also developed an Extranet project, which allows the organization to track its membership expertise and at the same time provides them with a free web hosting services in which they can post relevant information such as their main objectives and projects. This will allow the Union’s members, stakeholders, donors and partners to identify the main South American institutions working in water-related issues and others.
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Poster Presentation Group II

The Águaonline Digital Magazine project was developed to attend the demand for information about the water world:

- from a community of technicians and specialists about the water, sanitation and environment areas (150 thousand people in Brazil only) and with University degree or more - with intellectual and technological production, internationally recognized, and under-valued by the Brazilian media, which seldom publishes any articles containing points of view or news from these specialists or use them as sources of information.

- and from a population, that does not find in the traditional press a deeper approach dealing with environmental questions. Three decades later environmental educational programs have been increasing the demand for specialized information.
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This paper describes the developmental process involved with the creation of two online courses targeted at community college students in freshwater ecology and environmental landscaping and the attendant programs which have arisen as a result of this initiative. Funded by the Southwest Florida Water Management District and the Saint Johns River Water Management District, these credit experiences have been successful in attracting non traditional students to the study of environmental education as well as developing online pedagogical skills of classroom based community college faculty. Numbers, approaches, online delivery mechanisms and evaluative methodology will be showcased in this presentation.
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Broadband may be coming soon but what to do meanwhile here in Laos… with marginal and slow web access and most government offices not yet on the Internet, but with fifteen large (40-800 MW) hydroelectric schemes highly touted by the official development establishment now somewhere in the pipeline: several entailing great visual or aesthetic impacts so far unaddressed; others ousting uplanders who may have never even seen a photograph of a big dam. Beyond its familiar use distributing simple textfiles, Adobe Acrobat is a powerful multimedia authoring software, a stand-alone browser running on every platform and operating system, and a suitable format for electronic publishing in most languages and character sets, independent of the host computer’s resident fonts. PDF will deliver the highest resolution graphics, as required, to either screen or printer; as well as embedded slideshows, movies and virtual reality panoramas plus audio effects and soundtracks. A blank, writeable CD costing one dollar and processed on a $300 ROM-burner can contain interactive, enlargable maps and photos and full-motion video clips interspersed within an indexed, fully-searchable text. The Acrobat learning curve is managable for producers of EIA-like content, whose planning and conservation objectives may be more successfully implemented through visually strengthened documentation.
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Jake Brunner, Norbert Henninger, Ken Kassem, and Richard Payne.

Ecosystems are the productive engines of the planet, providing us with everything from the water we drink to the food we eat and the fiber we use for clothing. Yet nearly every measure we use to assess the health of ecosystems tells us we are drawing on them more than ever and degrading them at an accelerating pace. A critical step in improving the way we manage the earth's ecosystems is to take stock of their condition and their capacity to provide the goods and services we will need in years to come. The Pilot Analysis of Global Ecosystems (PAGE) aims to address this gap by assessing the condition of five major ecosystems on a global scale: agroecosystems, coastal areas, forests, freshwater systems, and grasslands. The PAGE Freshwater Systems study presented here, analyzes quantitative and qualitative information and develops selected indicators of the condition of the world's freshwater systems. Specifically the study looks at measures that show the degree of human intervention in the hydrological cycle and what we know concerning three important goods and services provided by freshwater systems: water, food, and biodiversity. Results from the PAGE study show that human activities have severely affected the condition of freshwater systems worldwide. Even though humans have increased the amount of water available for use with dams and reservoirs, more than 40% of the world's population lives in conditions of water stress, and by 2025 this percentage is estimated to grow to almost 50%. Surface and groundwater is being degraded in almost all regions of the world by intensive agriculture and rapid urbanization. Food production from wild fisheries has been affected by habitat degradation, overexploitation, and pollution to a point where most of these resources are not sustainable without fishery enhancements. Finally, freshwater biodiversity is highly degraded at a global level, with many freshwater species facing rapid population declines or extinction.
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The Virginia Water Resources Research Center (VWRRC) is one of the 54 water institutes established by the U.S. Congress in each state, District of Columbia and U.S. territories in 1965. Water institutes are affiliated with a university and coordinate research, education, and outreach activities within their states and respective regions. In recent years, the transfer of science-based water information to decision makers and citizens has become an essential outreach activity of water institutes by providing a link between universities, decision makers, watershed managers and other interested groups. Furthermore, information transfer has become more efficient with advances and availability of Internet technologies. The goal of the VWRRC website (www.vwrrc.vt.edu) is to facilitate rapid and cost-effective information to decision-makers and other interest groups. In this presentation, we would like to introduce many facets of information transfer through the VWRRC website. Some examples of its major features are given here. "Daily News Update" is a unique feature of the VWRRC Website. On a daily basis, water related news articles in regional newspapers are scanned and posted on the website. The "Small Water Systems" web page provides online managerial, technical, and trouble shooting information that managers and operators of small water systems and water agency personnel. The Virginia Water Monitoring Council web page facilitates a forum that coordinates water monitoring activities (government and citizen) in Virginia. Other pages provide linkages to federal and state agencies, professional and student organizations, and colleges and universities.
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Restrepo C Natalia, Garces C David

In the process of developing a large groundwater model a big gap exists between building the conceptual model and setting up the model design -which translates the physical system into input instructions which are understood by the computer program. This procedure is even more difficult in a large scale model, where the complexity of the system -the great number of parameters, management structures, canals and wetlands- could not be handled accurately and efficiently without the use of a GIS database. The database saves all the information used to describe each of the characteristics of the system and the associations among them. The paper presented herein is an effort to fill this gap by presenting the link between a GIS database that represents the conceptual design of a ground water model and MODFLOW’s input files, where all the information has to be referred to the basic unity of MODFLOW; the cell (by the layer, row and column coordinates). Furthermore, when a model is set up using GIS, it facilitates the QA/QC and the postaudit of the model.
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Timothy D. Scheibe Pamela L. Novak

Researchers within the Hydrology Group at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have made extensive use of web technology over the past several years in support of their primary mission -- environmental research and development. The "Hydrology Web" is a well-known internet resource list for the hydrologic sciences maintained within the group. This paper describes the growth of Hydrology Web from a personal bookmark list to an interactive tool including an online bulletin board and automated link submission. Despite its visibility and continued strong user base, its usefulness is limited. Here we explore potential future changes that would build on its current position to enhance the usefulness of the site for collaborative research in hydrologic sciences. Although the Hydrology Web is the most visible element of the group's web activities, other projects utilize web technologies for collaborative research, data sharing, and document distribution. These applications are associated with specific projects and provide recognized value to the research staff, collaborators, and clients. The success of these efforts relies on scientists with significant web experience working collaboratively with electronic communications experts. This paper describes some of the approaches and tools used, their success, and how they may be extended in future work.
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Water Gate
Carlos, Antonio

Maia Figueiredo Sergio Roberto Ferreira Schalcher Ivan Rodrigues Leite

The Brazilian Citizenship Movement for the Water, through anA - Agência de Notícias das Águas (Water News Agency) - intends to take part and needs the support of the 3º Water Information Summit for travel and other expenses. It has been one year since the last summit took place in ... and a few months since the World Water Vision meeting held in Le Hague, Netherlands. In the meantime the increasing demand on water information in Brazil led to the evolution of the ANA´s Internet e-mail bulletin into a web site that encompasses different aproaches on water subject: information, citizen participation, technology, business - all of them fully adherent to the World Water Vision principles. The site´s address is www.portaldasaguas.org and it intends to become a World Web Ring member. This site will be a water portal aimed to establish a better dialog between Brazil and the planet, so Brazilian waters and citizen and governamental actions become better known. We believe world efforts on water maintenance should be integrated and we hope this site is going to help our country in assuming a proper role in the international dialog. The Citizenship Moviment for the Water wants to establish a connection with the world and it also needs to improve its contacts and actions in Brazil. The web is an essencial instrument to achieve these goals and so is our participation in this forum, that have stimulated this work and helped strenght the network with related institutions and initiatives throughout the world.
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Poster Presentation Group III

In the spring of 2000, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between CIESIN, the Ramsar Bureau and Wetlands International highlighting a joint effort to create an on-line Ramsar Wetland Data Gateway. The on-line Ramsar Wetland Data Gateway provides access to a multilevel, multidisciplinary, resource base, including spatial, tabular and graphic data, through a common search interface. The cornerstone of the Ramsar Wetland Data Gateway is the Ramsar sites database, which is maintained by Wetlands International for the Ramsar Convention and contains information received from the contracting parties on more than 1000 designated Ramsar sites. CIESIN has created a working prototype of the Ramsar Data Gateway, which is currently undergoing extensive beta testing. The database is structured as a relational database with provisions for links to structured vocabularies and external data holdings. The on-line service permits a wide variety of search, retrieval, display and download options. The architecture has been designed to permit inclusion in Open GIS networks. A number of lessons have been learned as a result of creating this prototype, and these will form the core of the presentation. These lessons have to do with the challenges involved in creating an integrated system that ties together data held in disparate locations in distinct formats; with the challenges in planning for regular updating and maintenance of integrated databases;; with the challenges involved in providing access to data in both tabular and spatial formats; with the challenges involved in exploiting as effectively as possible the power of structure vocabularies.
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Mario Aguilar, Sheldon Annis, Helen Bugaari, Charles-Martin Jjuuko, Jaejung Kim, Wui Yen Yap, and Ying Zhao

International Waters:LEARN (IWL) is an innovative initiative to assist transboundary waters projects to communicate, collaborate, and coordinate with one another to address regional and global water resources issues. IWL is developing knowledge sharing techniques and tools at various technological levels to foster a sense of community among various international waters projects being supported by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). These tools span from virtual office spaces to facilitated e-seminars, from automated translation to distance learning and education tools for integrated watershed management and coastal zone management. The functionality of these tools is presented. The authors then discuss their strategic application across a variety of freshwater, coastal, and marine waters projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. IWL expects to engage over 50 transboundary waters projects in active knowledge sharing over the next several years. We conclude by encouraging further cooperation with similarly-oriented organizations in the research, development, deployment and evaluation of these techniques and technologies to help us address approaching water resource crises around the world.
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The Missouri Watershed Information Network (MoWIN) was developed to help citizens increase their knowledge about watershed conditions and best management practices. MoWIN, a partnership state, federal, non-governmental agencies and natural resource interest groups, provides information about watershed events, meetings, current projects, local contacts, human resources, financial and technical assistance, educational resources, watershed-related information by county, planning, restoration and research data. MoWIN has become a first point-of-contact for watershed information for Missourians. Our principles are: everyone lives in a watershed, people will do the right thing given the right information, more information than has been used is available to improve water quality, and the health of our watersheds is everyone's responsibility. MoWIN's challenge is searching through data and getting it in readily useable form for citizens to promote healthy watersheds. In the long run, we envision a "point and click" map of Missouri's 1,500 watersheds linked to all available information where clients can bring up their watershed and pose questions to MoWIN and related linked web sites. To date, MoWIN has developed a website (http://outreach.missouri.edu/mowin/) with projects to gather, compile and distribute watershed information. MoWIN is not just a web site; staff provide information using the Internet, phone, fax, mail, e-mail, workshops, conference presentations and personal visits.
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The Las Vegas Water Quality Interagency Website and the Las Vegas Wash Project Coordination Website are prime examples of using state-of-the-art technology to provide information on the progress of the Las Vegas Wash Project to the project's stakeholders and to the public. The internet-based applications have bridged the gap between local, state and federal agencies by easily providing the technical data and project updates to the public and the 170 + project participants. All the interfaces are Internet based, easy to understand and require little to no training.

Both sites are divided into two areas of focus 1) public access 2) professional access:
The water quality professional site provides access to over 500,000 individual water quality values. Navigation is simplified through the use of geographic information systems maps and easy to use menus. The public water quality site focuses on educating the consumer on how different water quality parameters affect the water quality values and how they can help in the overall effort to improving water quality.

The Las Vegas Wash members site supports over 170 project study team members. Within the site you will find newspaper articles, participant lists, project tracking information and discussion group software. The public focus of the Las Vegas Wash public website is a large effort to keep the public updated on the progress of the Las Vegas Wash Coordination Committee's efforts. There are many interesting points within this site. One section called "Watch Our Wetlands Grow" takes you to a monthly video of a Demonstration Weir (erosion control structure) and the progress of the increased vegetation surrounding the Weir. You can also get a great visual appreciation of the Wash by searching through over 1500 project images (some of which have GPS values). The technologies that are used include Oracle to host the data, GIS maps created with ArcView and ASP charting software to graph the queried results.
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Updated: 11-July-2005