Towards a National Water Information System in Egypt, 27 October 2010
Technical Workshop, held at the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI), Cairo
With the support of the European Commission, EMWIS is organising national workshops in Mediterranean Countries in the framework of the project entitled “Towards a Mediterranean Water Information Mechanism compatible with the Water Information System for Europe (WISE)”. This project is providing tools and guidelines to help countries in setting up their national data system on water in a harmonised way, enabling them to easily report data when necessary and taking the benefits of lessons learned from other Euro-Mediterranean countries.
In a broader context, this activity is also part of the approach initiated to respond to the needs expressed by the Ministers in charge of water of the Union for the Mediterranean to make available data, information and statistics on water, based on internationally agreed definitions and methods, structured within information systems, in particular National systems.
Following the mandate given by the Water General Directors of the Euromed countries, EMWIS has carried out feasibility studies of National Water Information Systems in late 2005 as well as a complementary research on a Mediterranean Water Observation Mechanism (2007-2008). These studies also serve as input for this activity.
A National Water Information System –NWIS- is information system shared between various public authorities, each one managing a subset of data according to its competences and duty. In such system the exchange of data is secured and the level of access is defined by each data owner.
In Egypt, the objectives of the workshop organised on 27 October 2010 were to:
- Present the concepts of a National Water Information System harmonised at the Mediterranean level
- Promote the use of a standardise catalogue of water data sources (so called geo-catalogue or metadata catalogue, see Mediterranean prototype at http://geo.semide.net/geonetwork
- Promote voluntary reporting on issue of common interest for the Mediterranean area
- Review current status of water information systems within the main agencies acting in the water sector
- Discuss the steps necessary to set-up a National
Water Information System -NWIS
- Overview of data availability and needs as well as data owners/provider
- Data sharing / dissemination practices and legal framework
As a result of this workshop a concept note for the development of a NWIS in Egypt could be prepared.
Brief reminder on EMWIS:
The Euro-Mediterranean Information System on know-how in the Water sector has been initiated in November 1996 by the Marseilles Euro-Mediterranean Conference on Local Water Management. Today, it is the only operational tool for co-operation between the 37 Euro-Mediterranean countries in the water sector. It aims to: Facilitate access to the information existing on know-how in the water sector; develop the sharing of useful information; Prepare common outputs and promote the necessary co-operation programmes. The System is based on a decentralised approach where each country has a National Focal Point (MWRI, Main Information Center for Egypt) that manages a national water information web portal. Since 2005, Egypt is also part of the EMWIS Steering Committee that formulates the main strategic orientations.