Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Water Quality Methodologies - Message relayed from UNEP GEMS/Water Programme

Dear Colleagues,

This is to invite all, and particularly those interested in analytical methods related to water quality sampling, to visit the new OpenWater Wiki, launched today at the 8th Conference of the United Nations Spatial Data Infrastructure Working Group in Bangkok. The Wiki is at http://www.ungiwg.org/openwater/ and is designed to share methodological information, tips and tricks on the analysis of water quality samples. We hope that users of the OpenWater Wiki will see this as a valuable forum to post information and questions relating to existing, new and developing methods for the analysis of water quality samples.

Many people working in water quality monitoring are familiar with unpublished methods manuals maintained by individual laboratories. These manuals are usually an invaluable resource to new members of the lab as they often have specific tips about certain analytical methods, instrumentation, reagent preparation and sourcing, amongst other materials, that are seldom included in published methods descriptions.

Students in this field often find themselves pouring over such manuals trying to piece together very basic analytical protocol details in order to ensure that their samples are properly analysed and their results are meaningful. OpenWater Wiki, seeks to fill this gap, by providing a venue in which users from around the world can post their tips and tricks, as well as questions about analytical methods.

In order to be a useful resource, the OpenWater Wiki needs the participation of individuals actively involved in the analysis of water quality samples. We have populated the site with basic methods descriptions and references for standard water quality parameters but hope this is just a starting point and that the site expands to become an active discussion forum about existing and new analytical methods.

Please visit the moderated OpenWater Wiki http://www.ungiwg.org/openwater/, to register as a user, and begin to use it as a resource for yourself and colleagues involved in the analysis of water quality. Feel free to refer other colleagues and students to this site. The more participation and feedback that we get in the early stages of the OpenWater Wiki, the more likely it will be that this site will become a success and a useful resource for water quality practitioners worldwide.


Through its Quality Management System (QMS), UNEP's GEMS/Water Programme improves global water quality data by ensuring the comparability and validity of analyses performed by laboratories worldwide, and by encouraging and supporting data integrity at all levels.
The programme also carries out evaluations on a range of water quality issues and methodologies. GEMS/Water data have been used by other organizations, including the UN system and universities around the world.
For more information about GEMS/Water, please contact: Dr. Richard D. Robarts, Director, tel: +1-306-975-6047 fax: +1-306-975-5143 e-mail: richard.robarts@gemswater.org or visit www.gemswater.org and www.gemstat.org.