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International Work Session on Water Statistics

With the renewed focus on water issues following the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, the Intersecretariat Working Group on Environment Statistics, together with FAO and the World Water Assessment Programme, agreed that there was an urgent need to review a number of issues related to water statistics, from the need for data through to the obstacles faced by countries when completing the questionnaires.

The Umweltbundesamt (Federal Environment Agency) in Austria offered to host an International Work Session to bring together international water data users and data collection bodies, and a cross-section of countries from all regions, to look at these issues in depth. This Work Session was held in Vienna on 20-22 June 2005. To allow a real discussion of the issues, country participation was restricted to countries that are active in the area of water data collection: see participants list.

The Work Session was organised in nine sessions (see agenda), each focusing on a different aspect of water statistics covering the need for water statistics, water statistics collected by international organizations, water accounting, and information on water resources, supply and use, waste water generation and treatment, water quality and emissions of pollutants to water, and water pricing and environmental expenditure on water. The topics were discussed on the basis of 35 working papers prepared and presented by participants from countries and international organisations. The report of the Work Session is now available.