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Scoping Study - International Water Quality Guidelines for Aquatic Ecosystems


In September 2010 , UN Water established a Thematic Priority Area (TPA) on water quality to enhance interagency collaboration on water quality and support governments in addressing global water quality challenges. The TPA recognizes the importance of guidelines/standards in achieving water quality objectives and providing a regulatory basis to prevent and control pollution in aquatic ecosystems. It is aware that some initiatives have already been taken to develop guidelines /standards in some countries but no such initiative has occurred at the global level. A major task of the TPA is to develop ‘international’ water quality guidelines for aquatic ecosystems, which could be applied or adapted at the global level. As a foundation for this undertaking, the TPA commissioned a scoping study in March 2011 under the direction of UNEP with the aim of providing an overview of existing water quality standards/guidelines for aquatic ecosystems and developing a plan to develop “international” water quality guidelines for aquatic ecosystem, as well as identifying the technical working group(s) / experts that would be required for the undertaking.