WMO, together with the Government of Germany and the Geneva Water Hub, held a Mobilization for Water Data and Peace event on 27 November. Representatives from the Permanent Missions in Geneva attended to help advance the water data and peace agenda for sustainable development and to advocate for easily accessible and reliable water data to inform policy and decision-making in their national governments.
WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas opened the event by providing a global overview of climate change and its effects on rainfall and water resources. “We are very much interested in building better operational services to handle water resources and to deal with these issues. We have to adapt to climate change, and a very powerful way to adapt to climate change is to invest in weather, climate and water services,” said Mr Taalas. He also noted that the WMO Reform will boost the importance of water in the WMO framework.
In their opening remarks, François Münger, Director of Geneva Water Hub, and Danilo Turk, Chair of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace, highlighted the central role of water in cooperation and peace. A panel discussion followed on the need for water data in the context of peace, moving in the intersection between policy, technology, diplomacy and awareness.
WMO presented three initiatives to contribute to the water data and peace agenda as well as the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals:
- The Global Hydrometry Support Facility (WMO HydroHub), which focuses on enhancing and innovating hydrological monitoring systems worldwide, as well as facilitating the free and open exchange of data
- The Global Hydrological Status and Outlook System (WMO HydroSOS), which uses available water data and modelling results to create a global reference of information on the current and future status of freshwater system
- The World Water Data Initiative which supports countries in water-related policy development to improve access to and use of water data by decision-makers
The discussion ended on a hopeful note: the initiatives are in place, all that is needed is to better organize the tools at our disposal and improve understanding to make the political process work.
For more information: WMO advances the Water Data and Peace Agenda