Guidelines on Seasonal Hydrological Prediction (SHP)
The new WMO Guidelines on Seasonal Hydrological Prediction (WMO-No. 1274) targets demand from a range of users at the global, regional and sub-regional levels for seasonal products and services to inform their decision-making processes.
The Guidelines will assist with the planning and development of hydrological outlooks by National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs). Through the Guidelines, WMO aims to assist its Members to develop capabilities to deliver water information services through Hydrological Status and Outlook (HydroSOS) initiative, including sub-seasonal and seasonal hydrological predictions at the global, regional and river basin scales.
For those Members who already have a Seasonal Hydrological Prediction system in place, it will provide a general overview of practice at the global level. For all the others, it will be a useful tool to help in setting up the framework to implement a Seasonal Hydrological Prediction service.
Drought and Water Scarcity
Drought and Water Scarcity (WMO-No. 1284) is a new publication of the Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The publication explains the characteristics of water scarcity and drought to enable stakeholders to implement the appropriate risk management strategies, including monitoring and early warning systems.
Drought is a natural climatic feature of below-average precipitation, which can last for months or years, while water scarcity results from a long-term imbalance between water demand and supply. Drought and water scarcity are often interrelated, and droughts can trigger or amplify water scarcity, while water scarcity can aggravate droughts. The on the ground impacts of drought and water scarcity are often the same, with agriculture and food security often the most severely affected. Drought and water scarcity exacerbate poverty and adversely affect economic growth, health and well-being, gender equality, and the environment.
Integrated drought management emphasizes the need for a framework or structured way of looking at impacts – direct and indirect – by sectors (e.g. agriculture, health, tourism, and environment). Strategies for coping with droughts and water scarcity involve proactive approaches to minimize adverse effects including sustainable water resource development. Opportunities for proactive approaches include strengthening early alert systems, risk mitigation measures, and long-term adaptation strategies to build climate, economic, and societal resilience for the well-being of future generations. In countries and regions prone to drought and water scarcity, risk management and resilience are important for sustaining and enhancing future quality of life.