Regional Perspectives on Water Information Policy and Water Portal Development Case Studies

Abstracts, Papers and Presentations

Pre-Conference for the Third World Water Forum's "Water Information Day"


  October 23-25, 2002
Meeting Announcement

Dates: October 23-25, 2002 (Water Information Summit) October 20-22, 2002 (Pre-conference Water Portal Developer's Workshop)

Venue: Embassy Suites Hotel, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA

This series of Water Information Summits (WIS) focuses on the challenges of using the Internet to share and disseminate water and water-related information and knowledge to support the formulation of water policy and the management of water resources. The fifth Summit will bring together information specialists, Web site managers, scientists, policymakers, and other water information users to discuss regional perspectives on water information policies, standards, and actions needed to improve the sharing and exchange of water information and management experiences. The results of these discussions will be presented on "Water Information Day" during the Third World Water Forum (WWF-3), to be held in Kyoto, Japan (March 16-23, 2003).

Special attention at the Summit will be given to reviewing progress and obtaining user feedback on the Water Portal of the Americas project, a prototype Web site being developed by members of the WaterWeb Consortium in cooperation with the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) IW:LEARN initiative, the Organization of American States (OAS), and the Inter-American Water Resources Network (IWRN).

Themes to be discussed during the Summit will include:

  • National water-data & information systems
  • Information systems standards & metadata
  • River basin & watershed information systems
  • Water resources assessments
  • Electronic libraries of information
  • Water Portal of the Americas development
  • Flood/drought warning systems
  • Citizen awareness &education program

The WaterWeb Consortium depends upon registration fees to cover meeting costs. The Web Developer's Workshop and hotel fees are NOT included in the basic WIS-5 registration fee.



GEF IW:LEARN (International Waters Learning Exchange & Resource Network will present a Water Portal Developer's Workshop for upto 25 participants on October 20-22, 2002. The goal of the workshop is to have each participant begin to construct a "water portal" for their own water information using open source software, templates, and standards that will assure their portals are compatible with others around the world. Participants are expected to be conversant in the basic techniques of web site development. Participants will be contacted by IW:LEARN during the month before the workshop to prepare and gather information for their Web design projects. These projects will be initiated during the workshop and presented during WIS-5 for feedback. IW:LEARN will continue to mentor participants for several months after the workshop and successfully completed projects will be showcased at "Water Information Day" in March 2003. Each participant will be expected to submit a final report on their activities and a workshop evaluation.

Tuition for the 3-day workshop is US $845 and includes the WIS-5 registration fee. All workshop participants are expected to attend WIS-5.



WIS-5 will consist of three full days of plenary and working group sessions, with an optional three-day pre-conference water portal developer's workshop. This year's plenary sessions will revolve around the presentation of in-depth case studies concerned with the development of water portals and information standards and extensive and substantive panel and audience discussion.

The Information Summit's popular and often rousing working group sessions will meet three times during the Summit. Two previous working group topics, developing and delivering educational and professional development opportunities, and the Water Portal of the Americas will be continued this year, with special attention given to water information issues that will be presented and disucssed on "Water Information Day."


The official languages of the Summit will be Spanish and English. Simultaneous translation will be provided during the Plenary Sessions.


American Water Resources Association (AWRA), Deutche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), Florida Center for Environmental Studies (CES), Foundation for the Inter-American Dialogue on Water Management (FIDWM), GEF-IW:LEARN, Global Environmental Monitoring System (GEMS/Water), Great Lakes Commission (Great Lakes Information Network, GLIN), Inter-American Water Resources Network (IWRN), International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC), , Organization of American States (OAS), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization - International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO/IHP)