Improving water quality is one of the major challenges societies are facing worldwide and consequently a key element of the UN’s Agenda 2030 to sustainable development. In order to reach this goal, solid science and knowledge bases for strategies and measures to form reliable determination of the water quality from regional to global scales is required. The key task in the scientific rationale of the working group is thus to summarise and evaluate in a transdisciplinary framework the data sources, data handling methods and assessment tools at hand. The group provides a science-policy-practice discussion platform, formulates co-designed research questions and gives a fast-track assessment on current state-ofthe-art methodologies and knowledge gaps and formulates prerequisites for an network of solution labs (case studies).
The core group represents institutional partners (UNEP, UNESCO-IHP, UNESCO-WWAP), science partners (UFZ, CESR, Universities of Florida and Purdue, Griffith University) and practice partners (GEMS-Water).
The aim is to establish a network to address of the global water quality challenge and to develop a Science Plan with a joint formulation of key issues and research questions attracting policy, science and practice partners likewise.
The working groups want to address four main themes:
joint sectoral (water, food, energy) approaches to assess global water quality (drivers, pressures, states) and the wider impacts of degrading water quality,
methods to assess global water quality reliably,
pros and cons of different monitoring and data handling techniques, and
identifying criteria for solutions labs (case studies) demonstrating successful water quality management.