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Thematic Priority Area: Water Quality

In September 2010 UN-Water established a Thematic Priority Area (TPA) on Water Quality to enhance inter-agency collaboration and support UN Member States in addressing global water quality challenges. The aim was also to monitor and report on the state of water quality, identify emerging issues and propose relevant responses.

It was earlier that year, during an international gathering on World Water Day in March 2010 that several UN-Water members and partners decided to join efforts. There had already been a number of collaborations around the issue and it was thus recommended that UN-Water would build on its achievements and establish a maintenance mechanism. Six months later the TPA on Water Quality was created - led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The envisaged scope of work of the TPA on Water Quality includes:

  • The development of international water quality guidelines for aquatic ecosystems;
  • Improving global water quality monitoring and data collection;
  • Promoting legislation, policies, and regulations on water quality;
  • Supporting research, education and capacity building on water quality;
  • Raising global awareness about water quality.


Coordinating organization and contacts


Thomas Chiramba
Chief, Freshwater Ecosystems Unit in the Division of
Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI)
United Nations Environment Programme


United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) • Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) • World Health Organization (WHO) • United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), UN-Habitat • United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) • UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB) • Aquafed • International Water Association (IWA) • International Water Resources Association (IWRA) • World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), African Development Bank (AfDB) • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) • World Bank (WB) • UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UN-WDPAC) • UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) • United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

Last update:07 Oct 2014