WFS logo

Permanent Monitoring Panel -

Members of the Panel:

Soroosh Sorooshian (USA)

William J. Cosgrove (Canada); Majid Hassanizadeh (Netherlands);John Wilson (USA)

Associate Members:
Joseph Chahoud (Italy); Robert Clark (USA); Lorne Everett (USA); Arturo A. Keller (USA); David Norman (USA); Gennady Palshin (Ukraine); Margaret Petersen (USA); Richard Regaini (USA); William Sprigg (USA); Igor Zektser (Russia)

Summary of the Emergency

Issues related to water ressources, both in terms of quantity and quality, will be in the forefront of challenges for the 21st Century. The population of the Earth is expected to grow to about 8 billion by the year 2025 from the most recent estimate of 6 billion in 2000. Countries in the developing world, especially those in semi-arid climates, are experiencing the highest rates of population growth. This will produce incredible challenges of how to meet future water needs.

The permanent monitoring of the status of water should be considered to be a planetary emergency, where the World Federation of Scientists could play the important role of bringing needed attention to this important matter

Priorities in dealing with the Emergency

The scope of many regional water emergencies is not known with any degree of certainty. In fact, the lack of information regarding such things as water quality parameters and declines in groundwater levels may be the fundamental problem. Therefore, a high priority must be placed on improved monitoring of quantity and quality parameters for both groundwater and surface water supplies.

This will require more guaging stations, more frequent measurements of depth to groundwater in wells, more water quality sampling, and more analyses for various inorganics, organics, and pathogens run on these samples.

The cost of water quantity and quality monitoring is high. Therefore, steps must be taken to get more useful information out of this investment. This will require:

  • Better water quantity and quality record keeping in general.
  • Better recording of metadata associated with sampling
  • Developing more cost-effective sampling and analysis techniques, including remote sensing.
  • Establishing standards and norms for taking measurements and analyzing water samples so that data gathered by different groups at different times can be shared and compared in meaningful ways.
  • Wider access to water quantity and quality data to all affected parties, made possible by Web-accessible data bases with user-friendly interfaces.
  • Preservation and digitization of historical water quantity and quality records.

Workshop and Meeting Reports