We have thorough knowledge of the water resources of our world

We have thorough knowledge of the water resources of our world

An appropriate monitoring system, addressing all the key variables associated with operational hydrology, including the cryosphere, should span the globe and produce information that can be used to optimize the efficiency of existing services, future policies and services and political decision-making from the local to the global scale. 

Further development of WMO initiatives, such as WHOS, HydroSOS and the Global Cryosphere Watch, matched with other international efforts, should support a fully operational World Water Data Initiative and enable local and global assessments of the availability of water resources.

World Water Data Initiative

World Water Data Initiative-guide


Inadequate water data limits national and community capacity to make informed decisions on managing this resource. This inadequacy is the result of absent or outdated policies on how water data should be collected, stored, disseminated and used, and the costs and complexity of managing water data in accordance with such policies. In many countries, failure to maintain or replace hydro-meteorological equipment results in lack of adequate water data. There is scope for innovation in technology and new practices and methods to increase access to data at reduced cost and complexity. Thus, the World Water Data Initiative, a global effort launched by the Government of Australia, promotes hydrometry as a basis for implementing the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 6 on water. WMO will lead the Initiative's second phase in order to accelerate the achievement of SDG 6.


WMO Hydrological Observing System (WHOS)

The goal of observations of the hydrological cycle is to collect reliable data for use in water resources planning and decision-making, including for managing flood and drought conditions, integration into hydrological and climate applications and services, and for research. Decisions may be made from raw data measurements, based on derived statistics, or on the results of many stages of modelling beyond the raw data stage, but it is the collected data that form the basis for these decisions.