United Nations Statistics Division
International Recommendations for Water Statistics
Series: M, No.91
The International Recommendations for Water Statistics (IRWS) was developed to assist countries establish and strengthen information systems for water, which in turn support the design and evaluation of better water policies. In particular, these recommendations: (a) support the collection, compilation and dissemination of internationally comparable water statistics in countries; (b) support the implementation of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounts for Water (SEEA-Water); and (c) provide the necessary information for deriving coherent and consistent indicators, enabling comparisons over time and between countries from an agreed list of data items.
The IRWS consolidates the experiences and practices of countries and international organizations in the field of water statistics, and was developed in close collaboration and consultations with many countries and international experts. Following this process, the IRWS was adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC) at its forty-first session in February 2010.
The UNSC is a functional Commission of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations that brings together the Chief statisticians from the Member States. As such it is the highest decision making body for international statistical activities, especially the setting of statistical standards, the development of concepts and methods and their implementation at the national and international level.