Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
This paper is a call to action for data users, data providers, and global decision makers concerned about water resources, climate resilience, and sustainable development. It provides an overview of hydrological monitoring systems and explains the importance of public water data to national governance, resource management, planning, and efforts to achieve global objectives such as the Sustainable Development Goals. It finds significant declines in the number of hydrological monitoring stations reporting in the public water data systems responsible for sharing hydrological information globally, with highly inconsistent temporal coverage and insufficient spatial coverage. It suggests a number of recommendations to reverse the growing “data drought” facing a changing world.