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Strengthening water quality monitoring and assessment in Colombia, COFI water (ICI)

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Project description

The project “Strengthening water quality monitoring and assessment in Colombia (COFI-Water)” is a joint initiative between IDEAM and SYKE. The collaboration aims to enhance IDEAM’s capacities to plan, establish and operate water quality monitoring systems at a national level in Colombia. COFI-Water will help IDEAM in implementing the activities outlined in the ‘Roadmap for the monitoring of the quality of surface water in Colombia’ (2016). The Roadmap summarises the objectives as well as short-, medium- and long-term activities needed for improving water quality management by the year 2030. It serves as a guideline for the strategies and actions that should be implemented through IDEAM´s annual operating plans.

View over the capital of Colombia, Bogotá. © Sari Mitikka.

The aim of the project is that Colombian authorities can systematically measure and monitor the quality of their surface waters and the affecting variables. The implementation of international standards and monitoring guidelines are needed to ascertain quality and that both sampling and analysis of waters are done accordingly. Safe and reliable water monitoring is essential to reduce harmful impacts on social and natural processes, especially on human health and to promote sustainable society with equitable access to water and sanitation as well as the basis of livelihoods.

Consequently, the project aims at enhancing the capacity of IDEAM in the field of water quality monitoring and assessment. The targeted result is to have IDEAM to provide up-to-date information of water quality and to have better capacity to update basic monitoring programme for water quality. The revised monitoring programme will offer more data, which can be used more efficiently to produce annual water quality reports (with appropriate indicators) and early warning system (online public service demonstration). This process requires training of staff on several issues to apply required skills in their work. According to the plan, SYKE will first offer training for IDEAM staff and then let IDEAM staff train other experts.

Project aims at following outputs:

  • Output 1: Strengthened practices for water quality measurement and monitoring
  • Output 2: Improved capacity of Water Quality Reference Laboratory
  • Output 3: Improved capacity to manage water quality networks and data
  • Output 4: Strengthened water quality assessment capacity

The project will operate in one pilot area where all fieldwork is done. The pilot area is used to study in detail the present monitoring programme of IDEAM and possible monitoring activities of other stakeholders in the area (local CAR, municipalities, research). It is important to know also what kind of human activities in the area affects water quality and what should be monitored.

The long-term effect sought by the development intervention i.e. impact of the COFI-Water project is strengthened water quality monitoring and assessment in Colombia. The goal is to have an operative national water quality network which offers high quality data.

The future national reference laboratory and up-to-date technics in collecting and analyzing national monitoring data will also benefit the regional environmental authorities and their monitoring programs, since IDEAM will be able to offer better quality assurance services and national level data of higher quality than now. Acting as the National Hydrological Service, IDEAM must generate, in addition to the national monitoring, procedures and guidelines for regional monitoring.

Published 2020-01-07 at 13:51, updated 2020-04-03 at 17:43

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