“You cannot manage what you do not measure” is a long-familiar saying to many, nowhere more so than in professional water circles at almost every level.

Knowing the variability of water flows in rivers, for example, requires measurements made over time at many different locations. Observed data collection should span at least 30 years at the same location so that natural variability and / or trends can be captured. Supporting such long-term monitoring is often beyond the short-term interests associated with political careers; and there are, of course, always more burning issues to deal with.

 

Read the full article Time to Resolve a Cursed Old Water Problem by Vladimir Smakhtin, Director of United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health, that is part of a series of stories and op-eds launched by IPS on the occasion of World Water Day on March 22.

Photo Credit: Campbell Easton/IPS