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About WIS

The role and responsibilities of ORASECOM relating to data and information management are laid out in the Revised Protocol on Shared Watercourses in the Southern African Development Community (SADC Protocol, 2000) and the ORASECOM Agreement

The SADC Protocol states that “Parties shall exchange available information and data regarding the hydrological, hydro geological, water quality, meteorological and environmental condition of shared watercourses. ”

The ORASECOM Agreement includes three tasks related to exchange of data and information:

  • Art 7.4 obliges the Parties to the Agreement to “exchange available information and data regarding the hydrological, hydro-geological, water quality, meteorological and environmental condition of the River System. “
  • Standardisation of river monitoring: Art 5.2.5 advises the Parties to work towards “the standardised form of collecting, processing and disseminating data or information with regards to a/l aspects of the River System. “
  • Notification of projects: Art 7.5 obliges: “a Party planning any project, programme or activity with regard to the River System which may have a significant adverse effect upon anyone or more of the other Parties, or which may adversely affect such River System, shall forthwith notify the Council and provide all available data and information with regard thereto.” “

As would be expected, line agencies in the riparian States as well as other institutions acquire and manage a large range of data and information relevant to water resources management in the Orange-Senqu River Basin. These data include hydrology-meteorology, hydrogeology, and water quality.

Whereas some important data custodians in the riparian States have been identified, knowledge of where datasets may be held is mostly fragmented and not easily accessible.

The UNDP-GEF Project supported ORASECOM in establishing an Orange-Senqu Water Information System (WIS).
The WIS provides the following functions:

  • Repository and cataloguing to ensure integrity of data and information acquired and produced by ORASECOM and the projects associated with it;
  • Web-based search and discovery of data to enable discovery of ORASECOM data and information;
  • Data exchange and sharing with appropriate users, including download of ORASECOM data and information for different user groups, while respecting third party data ownership rights;
  • Web based provision of data products to the general public, e.g. visualisation of selected data in thematic maps; and
  • Profiles of the data custodians in the riparian States and links to their websites to facilitate data and information discovery and sharing.