Call to WMO Members for input on Hydrological Services

The Standing Committee on Hydrological Services recorded four critical achievements at the October session of the WMO Commission for Weather, Climate, Water and Related Environmental Services & Applications (Services Commission). Following these, the Standing Committee is calling to WMO Members to submit case studies and experiences, to share the hydrological models or platforms operationally used in their countries and to start considering hosting a WMO Regional Hydrological Centre.

The first endorsement wwas of a collection of case studies from WMO Members on the application of the Common Alert Protocol (CAP) to issue warnings for hydrological hazards. The Standing Committee had been working in coordination with the Standing Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction and the Public Services/Expert Team on a Global Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (SC-DRR/ET-GMAS) to collect these case studies for the future Global Multi-hazard Alert System (GMAS) help desk. However, noting the limited number – and in view of a future expansion of the application of CAP to hydrology in other countries and the potential creation of a hydrology community of practice on CAP – the compendium would benefit from more such case studies. WMO urges Members to contact hydrology@wmo.int to contribute case studies on their national experience with the implementation of CAP for hydrology.

All case study will be showcased on the WMO website and in the future CAP Hydrology Community of Practice. Sharing your experience will also assist WMO in selecting partners for the development of WMO-led twinning projects to promote the use of CAP in hydrology.

Flash flood warnings (upper part of the figure) issued to the public by the Weather Forecast Offices of Charleston, West Virginia and Blackburg, Virginia, USA, with an area defined by a geospatial polygon. A plot of the polygons, overlaid on top of radar data is shown in the lower part of the figure.

The various sectors fed by water resources assessment

The second endorsement was of the Water Resources Assessment web portal that contains a collection of guidance material and tools developed by WMO and partners for water resources assessment. The next step of the portal’s development is to include input from the Joint Expert Team on hydrological monitoring (JET-HYDMON) on water quality and data requirements in the context of water resources assessment. The inclusion of case studies, additional materials and tools from Members on their know-how and experience is also planned to enrich the website. WMO cordially invites Members to share relevant know-how, tools and case studies on water resources assessment to complement the Web portal. Please contact hydrology@wmo.int.

All materials will be showcased and properly acknowledged in the Web portal. Moreover, sharing your experience will also assist WMO in selecting partners in the development of WMO-led twinning projects on water resources assessment in view of the future Community of Practice on Water Resources Assessment.

The third endorsement was for the inventory of models and platforms for flood forecasting and early warnings. The Standing Community has been setting up of a Community of Practice on End-to-End flood forecasting and one of its objectives is to provide access to interoperable technologies, including platforms and models, training and guidance material. The criteria for inclusion of Interoperable Models and Platforms in the inventory were collected in a report (soon to be published on the inventory webpage), which provides background on the inventory and a comprehensive definition of each of the criteria that are being used to select and describe the models. The inventory has so far been populated based on results of the WMO Hydrology Survey carried out from 2019–2021, but only a limited number of models and platforms corresponding to the selection criteria were identified. WMO calls on Members to please contact hydrology@wmo.int to share the model or platform operationally used in your country and grow the inventory!

An additional achievement for the WMO hydrological community was the endorsement of proposed modifications to the Manual on Global Data Processing and Forecasting System (GDPFS, WMO No. 485) to include Regional Hydrological Centres. Following the endorsement by the Hydrological Assembly in 2021 of the inclusion of Regional Hydrological Centres in the Manual, input was needed to clarify the roles of these centres. The amendments approved included:

  • the clarification of the role of Hydrological Adviser in the designation process of Regional Specialized Centres relevant to operational hydrology and its application to water management
  • the inclusion of new designation criteria of Regional Specialized Centres for sub-seasonal to seasonal (S2S) hydrological prediction, snow cover prediction and flash flood forecasting.

These modifications were also approved by Commission for Observation, Infrastructure and Information Systems in October. Approval by the World Meteorological Congress in 2023 will open the way for establishment of Regional Hydrological Centres. Members are cordially invited to start considering hosting one.

 

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