Scoping Requirements for a National Water Information System

Technical Expert Meeting

   TwitCount

An objective within the Strengthening Water Resources Management in Afghanistan (SWaRMA) project is to develop in-country capacity and scoping capabilities before moving on to the implementation of a national Water Information System (WIS) to support basin-level planning in Afghanistan. This requires consideration of the full life cycle of the development of the system – from conception through to operationalization and ongoing development. Among the many issues to be considered are agreement on the purpose, governance structure, and mechanism; mechanisms through which specific data are used as information; and the development and retention of skilled staff. The Afghanistan government and development partners have made considerable investments in generating data and building repositories to store that data. Now is an opportune time to consider how these can be formalized into a national WIS which can support basin-level planning in the country?

The SWaRMA project is working with colleagues at the Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW) to take forward deliberations on what a WIS could be in the context of Afghanistan. The first step involved the preparation of a scoping document. The second step, this technical meeting, seeks to refine the requirements such that some options for implementation can be considered.

This technical meeting brings together staff from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (the Bureau) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), who have extensive experience managing the Australian Water Resources Information System (AWRIS) and have been part of the Bureau/CSIRO Water Research Alliance, with MEW technical specialists.

Having gone through its own water journey over the past decade (and longer), Australia is well placed to contribute to these deliberations. The WIS in Afghanistan is the result of significant investment by the Australian government, from the initial research through to operations.

Objective

  • To finalise the Scoping of Requirements Technical Note, in particular, to
    • Prioritise short-, medium- and longer-term purpose/s for the Water Information System
    • build understanding of the current and near future context (e.g. public and private sectors) that will influence design of the WIS and how it will be operationalised
    • Identify users (key stakeholder groups), and products, and set priorities.