New Approach to Sharing Water Data Promises Improved Water Access around the World
Press Release by Brian Banks, Global Water Challenge
WASHINGTON | May 14, 2015 – Around the world, one in nine people lack access to safe water. While progress is being made, efforts have been limited by challenges in establishing a clear picture of water point access. Despite a growing trend of collecting data on water projects, there has previously been no consistent way to share this information among parties, making it difficult to fully understand the water challenges faced around the world.
Led by Global Water Challenge, the Water Point Data Exchange (WPDx) was launched today to address these challenges by simplifying how water point information is shared. WPDx is a collaboratively developed framework for sharing water point data. As part of the launch of this standard, an initial set of standard-compliant data was also released for immediate use. This dataset represents the largest public set of water point data ever released and provides an unprecedented picture of past investments across the water sector. The data includes information spanning nearly 25 countries and chronicles nearly a century of water investment. Over 30 different institutions and organizations have contributed data, including NGOs and governments around the world.
Through WPDx, partners will be able to share critical water data previously locked in proprietary databases, maps, reports and dusty papers on shelves, adding value to data already being collected. Ultimately, this initiative will transform a growing body of disconnected water data into actionable information that can be used to improve water services for millions.
The process of developing WPDx has been a global collaboration since its inception in 2014, with participation from a diverse range of water and data experts around the world. Convened by Global Water Challenge, this effort has been led by a working group that includes leading sector institutions such as UNICEF, the World Bank Water and Sanitation Program, the Ministry of Water and Environment in Uganda and nearly a dozen additional partners. The full WPDx working group list is available at www.WaterPointData.org.
“WPDx will allow for unparalleled progress by eliminating barriers to sharing data. Learning from the past, and from each other, is now easier than ever,” said Brian Banks, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Global Water Challenge. “From today forward, we will be able to efficiently share data that can improve the way water services are developed, delivered, and maintained for generations to come.”
Organizations interested in sharing or accessing data can do so at www.WaterPointData.org.