Actions and Activities


The purpose of this web site is to promote coordination of information about water sustainability. Users are invited to send pertinent information to, for possible inclusion on the web site. Because this web site is nongovernmental, it does not represent policy positions of any agency or organization.

The content of the web site changes about once per week. Most of the changes are currently additions to the 1996-2018 Reports and Publications list of documents, with links to the full text wherever possible.

The web site includes the Compendium of Water Indicators, a Full List of Water Indicators, Actions and Activities about water sustainability, Reports and Publications, Conditions and Trends Statistics, and Related Links. UN information is included, and definitions of sustainability. How indicators might be institutionalized is described in a session held by the National Council on Science and the Environment.

A set of slides has been included here to help the user understand sustainable water resources, and the role that indicators play in determining sustainability. The slides can be found at:


During 2007, a water indicators framework was developed by the  Sustainable Water Resources Roundtable (SWRR). To populate the framework with statistical data, mostly in the form of graphs and maps, a Draft Compendium of Feb. 5, 2008 was prepared. This statistical compendium was presented for review and comment at the February meeting of the Advisory Committee on Water Information ( The complete water indicators compendium is on line at:

You can download a copy from that location. We are seeking additional or updated information that will help improve the draft compendium. For example, one comment is that there is little or no information about natural hazards like floods and droughts. Please help find additional statistical information for the compendium. The most useful leads are those that give specific web locations, reports, or similar concrete sources. Because this is quite a large undertaking, it may well take some time before the current document can be updated.

Some updates and additions to the Sustainable Water Resources Indicators have been made. The National Environmental Status and Trends indicators have been utilized. For the updates of February 2010, please go to:

Over a period of years, papers were prepared for the annual technical conferences of the Water Environment Federation (WEFTEC). Although some of these papers were given in the past, the ideas in them remain relevant to the problem of how to define and evaluate sustainable water resources. Now these papers are available free of charge courtesy of the Water Environment Federation (see left column). Following is a summary of the topics covered in the papers, which form a set of evolving concepts from beginning to end:

Selecting water resources indicators from available data bases.

Scale issues and the geography of indicators. State, regional, and local indicators.

Report of the Sustainable Water Resources Roundtable on national indicators.

Public policy issues as driving forces for indicator selection.

Sustainability of marine fisheries resources.

Sustainability indicators and biofuels production.

Rating watershed sustainability with examples from New Orleans and Los Angeles.

Hydraulic fracturing in the context of sustainable water management.


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has posted a web site with indicators that relate to sustainability. Because this is an important aspect of sustainable water resources, this may be a useful reference. The web site can be found at:

The indicators are not exclusively aimed at water resources, but instead contain a variety of information.



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