Countries and organizations are invited to voluntarily provide water quality data from their own monitoring networks to the GEMS/Water Data Centre, at the International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change, as stated by the United Nations Environment Assembly in resolution 1/9 at its first session on 27 June 2014, where the mandate of GEMS/Water was reaffirmed.
There are plenty of benefits to be gained from sharing water quality data with the GEMS/Water Programme in the mid- to long-term. It is universally understood that water quality datasets require a substantial amount of time, work and funding to collect and archive. Hence, the hesitation in making these data publicly available at no cost is understandable. But once the data is collected and the assessments that they were intended for are done, data lies mostly dormant and is rather a liability than an asset.
What it takes is a small shift in perspective to see that putting these data to work can add additional value for the benefit of the whole country. Starting from more support by United Nations Programmes, over increased investments, to a kickback in scientific knowledge and solutions, which researchers from all over the world can produce based on your data. All these benefits help increase the living standards of the population and the adaptability of the whole country to new environmental trends: Trends, whose magnitude and scale, or even the sheer presence would not be known without your contribution.