The goal of the World Inventory of water museums, interpretation centres, ecomuseums, and extended museums is to collect new data and information on the main features, collections (physical and digital), and activities of museums and institutions worldwide. A practical Toolkit has been designed to facilitate a 2-step implementation process of the World Inventory at regional and national level, which is as follows: 1 – identification of relevant water-related museums, information centres, and cultural landscapes by means of a specific taxonomy (1ststep), and 2 – compilation of additional information on existing institutions as regards their collections, management structures, activities, and projects through a questionnaire (2ndstep). The Toolkit will enable National IHP Committees, universities, and research centres to produce inventories at regional and national levels.
The definition of a general methodology aimed at identifying and mapping water museums is functional to: – produce a global overview of institutions exhibiting different water heritages and provide a useful inventory of most active organizations on water sustainability education; and – strengthen cooperation among these institutions and organizations in order to raise major public awareness on the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. This will give an opportunity to WAMU-NET to further develop its network worldwide (in line with UNESCO-IHPResolution n.7-XXIV “UNESCO-IHP in support of the Global Network of Water Museums”). In the proposed taxonomy for the inventory, a specific set of categories enables the identification of not only the already-existing water museums, interpretation centres, and institutions, but also the future (potential) ones. For this reason, cultural landscapes, social practices, and intangible legacies will also be considered and classified for their role in transmitting the history and the different values related to water in specific cultures and, therefore, for their potential to create new water-related museums.
A toolkit is available to start the process of making an inventory at regional or national level.