IHP-WINS is an open-access, knowledge-sharing platform on water-related issues at all levels, which is freely made available by the International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO. One of the main objectives of the platform is to empower users to share geospatial data through a simple process, and to easily produce maps with information already available on the platform.

IHP-WINS provides a platform for sharing any type of information related to water. Although data hosted on IHP-WINS is mostly in the form of GIS layers that can be overlaid for users to visualize information and create maps tailored to their own needs, contributors can share information in various other formats (i.e. images, videos, PDF, webinars, etc.). Data can be of various scales (global, regional, national and local), and can relate to any aspects of water resources (quality, quantity, governance, risk, use, supply, groundwater, gender, SDG6 targets and indicators, etc.). Both quantitative data and qualitative data are welcomed on IHP-WINS.

Additionally, all data shared on IHP-WINS benefit from metadata in a standardized format, allowing for an accurate identification and crediting of any elements, and easy later sharing. Plus, a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is attributed to layers, maps, documents in order to provide a stable base for referencing data and to reference track the electronic resources published on IHP-WINS. Unless otherwise specified by the contributors, all information is shared in an open-access manner, thus made available for free download. IHP-WINS also aims at encouraging inter-disciplinary collaboration and knowledge sharing among water-related stakeholders. Contributors are encouraged to gather in working groups, in order to facilitate exchange and give feedbacks on their current work, as well as reinforced professional networking and mentoring among water-related stakeholders.

IHP-WINS was designed by Youssef Filali-Meknassi, Programme Specialist within the Division of water sciences of UNESCO. The platform follows the UNESCO’s policy guidelines on the development and promotion of open access, and establishes a continuity with several activities of the Division of Water Sciences of UNESCO such as the HOPE initiative (Hydro Free and FOSS Platform of Experts) launched in 2013, and the FREEWAT project (FREE and open source software tools for WATer resources management) launched in 2014.


IHP’s Water Information Network System has partnered with various organizations that share their data.

Development, installation and configuration professional services have been provided by GeoSolutions.