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Terms & Synonyms


Official WHO Definition

Performance and analysis of routine measurements aimed at detecting changes in the environment or health status of populations (WHO et al. 2003).Continuous control by the water-supply agency, through which the waterworks management ensures the satisfactory performance of the treatment processes, the quality of the water produced and the absence of secondary contamination within the distribution network (WHO 1996).Routine observation, sampling, and testing of designated locations or parameters to determine the efficiency of treatment or compliance with standards or requirements (Symons et al. 2000).

Other Definitions

1. Periodic or continuous surveillance or testing to determine the level of compliance with requirements and/or pollutant levels in various media or in humans, animals, and other living things.

2. Monitoring can be defined as any kind of acquisition or collection of data on a certain activity or process by means of a technical device, an observation system or any other surveying method to assess the current status of the chosen parameters and changes over time. In the case of an activity, monitoring seeks to establish the extent to which input deliveries, work schedules, other required actions and targeted outputs are proceeding according to plan, so that timely action can be taken to correct the deficiencies detected. One of the main characteristics of monitoring is that it is a frequent or continuous process. Monitoring can be considered at two levels. In this report, Target monitoring is highly directed, and provides a way of measuring progress toward achievement of specific objectives and goals (through a set of targets), while System monitoring is more general and is mostly used to measure conditions of a given system and to detect changes. Monitoring is often, but not systematically associated with reporting. Based on UN-Water: Water Monitoring - Mapping Existing Global Systems & Initiatives (Aug 2006)


Interpretations and Explanations


Symons, J. M., Bradley, L. C. Jr. and Cleveland, T. C. 2000. The Drinking Water Dictionary.

American Water Works AssociationWHO (1996) Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality, 2nd ed

WHO, WMO and UNEP (2003) Climate change and human health: risks and responses

WHO Lexicon page (translations and examples)

See also

  1. Armenia - Water Quality and Quantity Monitoring, Regional Data Exchange
  2. Atlas of Water and Health
  3. Category:Monitoring
  4. Global Water Supply and Sanitation 2000 Report
  5. Image:Tajikistan HydroObservationNetwork TajMET.jpg
  6. Meeting the MDG Drinking Water and Sanitation Targets: The Urban and Rural Challenge of the Decade
  7. Monitoring and Evaluation Indicators for GEF International Waters Projects
  8. Monitoring and Evaluation(M&E)
  9. Progress in Drinking Water and Sanitation: A special focus on Sanitation
  10. Regional Research Network Water in Central Asia (CAWa)
  11. UN-Water: Water Monitoring - Mapping Existing Global Systems & Initiatives (Aug 2006)
  12. UNDP-GEF International Waters Performance Report 2007 - 2008/Monitoring Progress
  13. Water For Life:Making It Happen
  14. Water Monitoring
  15. Water Monitoring/Federated Water Monitoring System
  16. Water Monitoring/Key UN-Water indicators

External Resources


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