The World Meteorological Organization is pressing ahead with the establishment of a new Global Hydrometry Support Facility to develop a reliable and sustainable source of hydrological data and information. This will serve as the foundation for evidence-based policy, decision-making and conflict resolution in water resources management at global, transboundary, national and local levels.
The Commission for Hydrology endorsed the implementation of the WMO HydroHub – as it is known – at its 15th session from 7 to 13 December 2016 in Rome. It also discussed how to strengthen drought and flood management activities, flash flood forecasting, and overall water resource monitoring and management.
The meeting was attended by 140 participants from 57 countries and 11 international organizations. The Commission became the first WMO constituent body to hold a capacity-development workshop for women, with a Women’s Leadership in Hydrology Workshop.
Key decisions included:
- Implementation of the Global Hydrometry Support Facility – the WMO HydroHub. including the innovation Hub and the WMO hydrological Observing system. The HydroHub will support the entire value chain – from data acquisition to knowledge sharing – by building on past gains while enabling innovative approaches, delivering technical assistance and fostering international cooperation. Its components are: WHYCOS (provide hydrological data), WHOS (WMO Hydrological Observing System, show and share data); an hydrological information platform (information on water monitoring organizations), a help desk (technical support to national hydrological services); and the Innovation Hub, a worldwide incubator of inventive technical solutions for water monitoring and developing new approaches to hydrometry through technology scouting, co-design, piloting, proofing, and compliance with quality management practices.
- Establishment of a Community of Practice on Droughts to prepare guidelines for assessing hydrological drought severity and impacts for water resources management. This Community of practice should bring together hydrological and agrometeorological requirements and developments.
- Establishment of a Global Hydrological Status and Outlook project, with a view to develop a WMO capability to assess an indication of the current global hydrological and hydrogeological status, helping identifying significant different from ‘normal’ (for example, indicating drought and flood situations), with a seasonal perspective.
- Implementation of a strategy under the Flash Flood Forecasting Initiative FFI to advance the use of End-to-End Early Warning Systems for flood forecasting, using a Community of Practice approach that takes advantage of the Integrated Flood Management (IFM) HelpDesk (APFM). The strategy also includes development of material to assess national capabilities, efforts to advance: the use of interoperable and freely available modelling platforms and hydrological models; linkages to training and guidance material; and access to projects designed to assist Members.