The lack of environmental data is particularly pertinent as we face the challenges of population growth, increasing consumption and climate change.
These challenges are combining to put significant pressure on water resources, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and areas of Asia. As a result, global businesses are increasingly concerned about water risks to their business, whilst communities suffer from water insecurity and freshwater ecosystems are in decline.
Catch X will be a web-based, global, hydrological information platform for determining catchment hydrological characteristics. The platform will improve access, or provide access for the first time, to standard water balance information at a local catchment level globally, without the need for complex GIS or hydrological modelling skills.
This will not only allow non-expert users access to hydrological information, but also provides meaningful, locally relevant, visualisation of these data for decision making.
The platform will deliver catchment characterisation reports, annual and seasonal water balance information and natural stream flow estimates. These can be used to; inform equitable water resource allocation decisions, identify high water-risk catchments for prioritisation planning, quantitative analysis of impacts on natural resources, and provide a hydrological contextual understanding for water stakeholders that might not be available otherwise.
Catch X will help any person or organisation requiring catchment water balance data and information needed for water resource management in its broadest sense.
These include water resource ministries, international and national NGOs, commercial organisations with assets or interests related to water resources, municipal water supply bodies and so on.
However, due to its open access nature, actual beneficiaries are likely to be from an even broader range of people and organisations. This will enable collective action towards SDG 6, ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.