Launched in January 2017 by UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP), the Water Information Network System (WINS) is a user-friendly, participatory, and open-access online platform offering water-related data and information. WINS allows storing, combining from several sources, and sharing open data on water resources at all levels (from local to global).

Its primary objective is to foster knowledge sharing and access to information, by making information freely available to anyone. The platform is contributing to close the gap between North and South in terms of access to knowledge. Overall, it aims to support decision-making and build capacity.

The IHP Secretariat makes WINS freely available to Member States, water stakeholders and partners, with the aim of encouraging contributors to share data on water.

WINS offers different sets of spatial information (i.e. layers) that can be overlaid to create tailored maps. WINS also consists of a larger knowledge-sharing platform, which brings together information on national water policies and any other water related publications, in various formats. Finally, WINS is a networking hub that connect water stakeholders and promote experience-sharing.

On WINS, transparency and respect of authorship is guaranteed as all information shared by contributors benefit from metadata in a standardized format and from a UNESCO Digital Object Identifier (DOI). This allows for an accurate identification and crediting of any contribution, and easy later sharing.