Clean Water and Sanitation

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Amanda Lange Salvia, Tony Wall

Approaches to Water Monitoring

Living reference work entry



Monitoring is an activity that observes or tracks changes, usually for a specific purpose, over a period of time. Water monitoring is carried out for the purposes of determining water quality and/or water quantity. In 1992, the GEMS/Water (Global Environment Monitoring System for Water) program (UN Environment 2018a), together with International Hydrological Program (UNESCO 2018), produced a comprehensive guidebook on water quality assessment, which was updated in 1996 (Chapman 1996). In this guidebook, water quality monitoring was defined as “..collection of information at set locations and at regular intervals in order to provide the data which may be used to define current conditions, establish trends…” (Meybeck and Helmer 1996). This definition can also be applied to monitoring water quantity.

Water monitoring, for both quality and quantity, is the fundamental activity that generates the data required for assessment of status and...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.United Nations Environment Programme GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences and Environmental Research InstituteUniversity College CorkCorkIreland
  2. 2.International Water Management InstituteColomboSri Lanka

Section editors and affiliations

  • Ulisses Azeiteiro
    • 1
  • Anabela Marisa Azul
    • 2
  1. 1.University of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology (CNC) & Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, University of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal