Panama City, Panama, October 25-27, 2001
Internet-Based Mechanisms and Partnerships to Build Virtual Capacity for Sustainable Water Resources Management

The Fourth Summit was held in conjunction with a meeting of the Central American Environment Commission, a ministerial level conference, and the Water Fair for Central America and the Caribbean. WIS-4 was hosted by the Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean (CATHALAC http://www.cathalac.org) and the National Environmental Authority (ANAM) of Panamá.

At the completion of the Summit, the WaterWeb Consortium published a CD-ROM of the papers and talks that were presented at the conference. We now have the proceedings on-line as well.

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The WaterWeb Consortium is grateful to our sponsors for their financial support of the Fourth Water Information Summit.


   Financial Sponsors
   Conference Organizers



  Meeting Announcement  

Hosted at the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft, Netherlands

Good and accessible information is the basis for making decisions about water resources. The Water Information Summit (WIS-6), was held in Europe for the first time in September 2003. The focus was on strategies to overcome the "digital divide" between North and South and within the South and to share knowledge and information in support of the management of the water and sanitation sectors.

WIS-6 brought together communication specialists, information managers, web site managers, academics, scientists, policy-makers, and other water information users and providers. It provided a forum to discuss the state of the art and trends in knowledge management, the application of web-based technologies and the formation of partnerships. A major focus of the Summit was the future of water portals - web based interactive sites which make it easy to search water related web sites.

Small working groups discussed topics, such as e-learning, water portal development, adoption of metadata standards, and water information assistance services (help desks). The Summit was followed by a three and a half day Knowledge Management Workshop.


  Presentation Topics  


  1. The use of information by diverse target groups in the water sector: poor women, men and children, national and regional resource centres, policy makers and water managers.
  2. Effective and equitable information and knowledge sharing to support safe water and sanitation in the developing world.
  3. The potential of information to contribute to improved health and poverty reduction.
  4. The role of national and regional resource centres in the South.
  5. Gender and water in the information society.
  6. Closing the Digital Divide: opportunities and lessons learned.
  7. Implementation of actions taken at the 3rd World Water Forum for the future of water information.
  8. New and existing Water Portals in support of the water sector.

Special Opening Session - IRC Anniversary Event

The Summit opened with a series of events celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre. Keynote speakers addressed the main themes of the Summit that were later explored in technical papers, posters, and working group discussions. During the opening session, a new book "Water Stories" published by IRC, was launched. For more information about "Water Stories" and how to order this book visit the IRC Water Stories  page



15–17 September 2003 - Knowledge Management Workshop

From 15-17 September 2003, IRC and IW:LEARN presented a three and a half day workshop for 50 participants in association with the Summit. The workshop focused on the practical use of knowledge management (KM) for improved water resources management (WRM). By the end of the workshop participants came up with solutions to knowledge transfer problems they identified within their own organizations and WRM partnerships. Each participant developed an action plan to achieve at least one substantive KM improvement in his or her organisation within 100 days. Read more about the knowledge management  workshop.


WIS 6 is a joint effort of the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre and the Water Web Consortium.The following organizations are co-sponsors of the Water Information Summit and the Workshop:

  • American Water Resources Association (AWRA)
  • Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ)
  • Florida Center for Environmental Studies (CES)
  • Great Lakes Information Network (GLIN)
  • Global Environmental Monitoring System (GEMS/Water)
  • Inter-American Water Resources Network (IWRN),
  • International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD),
  • Organization of American States (OAS)
  • Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)
  • UNESCO - International Hydrological Programme (IHP) and World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)
  • UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)
  • U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
  • Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)