Today, information and communication technologies (ICTs) have become pivotal in everyday life. Though there are many initiatives designed to enhance water sustainability, efficiency and accessibility via ICTs to address the water crisis, there is still a need for standardization and proper ICT governance. Provision of this ensures that there is proper management of these technologies, avoiding the possible increase in consumption or environmental damage from electronic waste. Smart water management (SWM) therefore is a key policy issue on the global stage.
As part of their mandate to secure a sustainable future, both ITU and UNESCO, have set out to raise awareness on ICTs and SWM. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nation’s specialized agency for ICTs, develops internationally recognized standards which act as defining elements in the global infrastructure of ICTs. ITU, the very heart of the ICT sector, recognizes the positive influence that ICTs can play in the distribution, management, and allocation of our water resources. Consequently, ITU’s Focus Group on Smart Water Management (FG-SWM) provides a peer forum to tackle the gaps in “ICTs and SWM” so that countries can overcome the global water challenges collectively.
The United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), on the other hand has been a leader in building the scientific knowledge base to help countries manage their water resources sustainably. Through the International Hydrological Programme, the UN-wide World Water Development Report, the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, as well as affiliations with countless research centres and water-related Chairs on water around the world, UNESCO is strengthening global water security