Consultation on WMO action plan for Hydrology (Phase II)

Dear colleagues,
In September 2020, we have asked you to provide your comments on identification of needs and gaps for achievement of the eight long-term ambitions for hydrology agreed by Cg-18:

  1.  No one is surprised by a flood;
  2. Everyone is prepared for drought;
  3. Hydro-climate and meteorological data support the food security agenda;
  4. High-quality data supports science;
  5. Science provides a sound basis for operational hydrology;
  6. We have a thorough knowledge of the water resources of our world;
  7. Sustainable development is supported by information covering the full hydrological cycle;
  8. Water quality is known;

Based on your valuable inputs, the Hydrological Coordination Panel has developed, in cooperation with other working bodies of WMO, the actual content of the Action Plan for Hydrology – a proposed list of activities and outputs.

We have identified 5 action areas completed by a group of cross-cutting activities that lead to the achievement of the above listed ambitions. In addition, activities are coordinated with the development of the Research Strategy for Hydrology by the WMO Research Board.

We need your knowledge and experience to produce a plan that will suite and serve the needs of hydrology at Members’ level and this phase is the critical one. Therefore, we are asking you again for your contribution in shaping further development of the Action Plan.

  • If you wish to provide general comments on the document and the Action Plan development, please use the “Leave a reply” form below.
  • To see the list of activities proposed under each Action area and comment on them, please use the following links:
  1. Action area ‘FLOODS’ – activities contributing to achievement of ambition ‘No one is surprised by a flood’
  2. Action area ‘DROUGHTS AND SUPPORT TO FOOD SECURITY AGENDA’ – activities contributing to achievement of ambitions ‘Everyone is prepared for drought’ & ‘Hydro-climate and meteorological data support the food security agenda’
  3. Action area ‘INTERFACES WITH SCIENCE’ – activities contributing to achievement of ambitions ‘High-quality data supports science’ & ‘Science provides a sound basis for operational hydrology’
  4. Action area ‘WATER RESOURCES ASSESSMENT AND INFORMATION FOR SDG’ – activities contributing to achievement of ambitions ‘We have a thorough knowledge of the water resources of our world’ & ‘Sustainable development is supported by information covering the full hydrological cycle’
  5. Action area ‘WATER QUALITY’ – activities contributing to achievement of ambition ‘Water quality is known’
  6. Action area ‘CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES’ – activities contributing to enhancement of operations of the National Hydrological Services, their visibility, financing and sustainability, as well as its core infrastructure and data sharing

We are collecting your inputs until 25 May 2021 (Extended to 31 May 2021)

Thank you for your involvement and support

Jan Danhelka, Chair of the Hydrological Coordination Panel

Comments (10)

  • Mohammed Bari1 June 2021 at 2h39

    Thanks for the opportunity to comment and review this document. It is indeed an ambitious plan. Implementation of the plan is not part of the document. I understand it will be done through partnership and on-going activities. The plan will be updated as progresses are made. Ongoing activities will be monitored as part of implementation plan.

    However, it will be good idea to include ‘case studies’ for each of the ambitions/implementations. It will build confidence among partner nations. The establishment of ‘case studies’ could be included in success metrics.

    There are so many acronyms. It would be good to have a list of acronyms at the end of the document

  • Curtis Barrett31 May 2021 at 17h47

    The Action plan is quite comprehensive and ambitious. Plaguing issues such as lack of sharing of hydrometeorological data needs to be seriously addressed. There are critical barriers that need to be addressed and governments do not understand the value of sharing data. Increased interaction and coordination between meteorological forecasters and hydrologists to be a priority- especially relevant to flash flood and flood forecasts and warnings. The Plan needs to recognize the WMO process of adopting the Flash Flood Guidance Strategy for sustainability. This is a key activity under the WMO FFI and is not addressed in the Action Plan. The fact is that short fused (Flash Flood) forecasts must be the responsibility of NMS’s yet they do not have the tools nor training to deliver these critical services, Also I support meeting the hydrological needs of users that does appear in the plan. Understanding better the requirements of the various sectors, meeting those needs will provide huge benefits and strengths to building a strong Hydrology program in the future.

  • Jussi Kaurola31 May 2021 at 12h19

    The WMO action plan for hydrology is covering various important aspects and highly supported. Since the new Climate and Water Coalition is recently established, it would be beneficial to highlight themes related to this coalition more clearly in many of the action areas of the Hydrology action plan activities.
    In Finland separate NMS and NHS work very closely together and have seamless co-operation through the Flood Centre – a virtual centre issuing Flood early warnings covering pluvial, fluvial and coastal floods and close interaction with local DRR authorities and disseminating warnings to authorities and public.

  • Edwin S C LAU (HA for PR, Hong Kong, China)31 May 2021 at 11h33

    We have the following suggestion on Action area ‘DROUGHTS AND SUPPORT TO FOOD SECURITY AGENDA’ :

    Line 522-524 (or C.8.1 in web Page) – As per the Recommendation 5.1.1 of the SERCOM First Session (2nd Part), it has been agreed to rename the Global Drought Indicator (GDI) to the Global Drought Classification System (GDCS). Relevant classification of drought classes is also proposed. The concerned paragraph should be revised to recognize this change as appropriate.

    We have no particular further comments on other action areas please.

  • Johanna Korhonen28 May 2021 at 13h46

    The action plan and its activities are relevant, ambitious and highly supported. Since the action plan covers vast aspects in hydrology (and several other actors are working with same themes), intensive collaboration and co-operation with relevant UN and other organizations and stakeholders are needed to reach outputs in resource-wise manner. Eventhough linkage with climate and water is included in the plan, I see that it could be even more highlighted in the activities – in respect of the new Climate and Water coalition. More detailed comments will be provided to the hydrological coordination panel by email.

  • Tamara Tokarczyk27 May 2021 at 19h07

    WMO Action plan for hydrology:
    I would like to add some comments to Action area Droughts and support to food security agenda.
    Drought is a process with phasess, from meteorological to hydrological with groundwater. Monitoring and hazard assessment should take into account the cooperation of all experts in these fields. Additionally, risk assessment is combined with the involvement of economists and society.
    Such an approach is important in border areas that require special treatment and awareness-building of the local society. Building a common approach to assessing the risk of drought in border areas should be based on continuously developed systems and tools. The lack of a jointly developed and accepted methodology for drought assessment may lead to conflicts in border areas. The Action Plan document should contain a provision on the need to develop an approach in border catchments.

  • Qingyun Duan26 May 2021 at 8h48

    This is a great idea to develop the action plan for National Hydrological Service. One small suggestion: I think there are too many acronyms throughout the webpages. It would be helpful to have a list of acronyms that is easy to access. Thanks

  • Wolfgang Grabs26 May 2021 at 0h23

    This is a very comprehensive document that addresses key priorities for NHSs.
    In my comments to the Action Plan document, I highlighted the need to link more closely to science and research in all action areas with a view to improve the standing and performance of NHSs to deliver high quality user-oriented forecasting and assessment products. There is also a need to facilitate improved liaison with relevant institutions through cooperation and twinning arrangements to improve capacity in various fields in NHSs and including improved cooperation between NHSs and NMSs. At UN level, there is a need to more effectively make use of synergies and scarce resources in better coordination and development of regional and global activities such as through UN-Water.

  • Jana Poorová25 May 2021 at 6h47

    WMO Action plan for hydrology:
    We consider this to be a very comprehensive and useful document. It emphasizes the basic activities associated with monitoring and in particular data sharing, communication and external cooperation. We support the W&C coalition within WMO, which is implemented in Slovakia through Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute, where climatology, meteorology and hydrology are under “one umbrella”.
    We would like to add a few specific comments that could better explain the need or thinking of hydrologists:
    “Operational hydrology community at national scale knows how to access the global products, services, tools, activities and community of WMO.“(row 192). It is very important for hydro community to ensure that meteo community understands the needs of hydro community, hydro community is not only one of the end-users of these global products, but they also need a specially developed products and tools according to their needs.
    “Increased availability and international exchange of hydro-meteorological data for operational flood forecasting and early warning, and enhanced international cooperation in flood management especially for transboundary basins on free and unrestricted basis” (row 325). This is written with good intentions, but the real “action” depends on economic laws. It means, if NHMSs receive “free and unrestricted access” to money from governments, they will certainly be able to provide data for free and also without restrictions.
    In AP section dealing with floods we miss the topic(s) that would deal with the assessment, analysis of floods, including determination of their characteristics and design variables. Most points deal only with predictions and warnings but these variables which are necessary for them are missing. In this context, it would be appropriate to add somewhere into this section this text: “to have the hydrological monitoring network that is sufficient for the hydrological regime evaluation and hydrological (flood) design values determination, for the whole area/country, with respect to floods”, including of specifying the determination of uncertainties of design variables, e.g. QN, flood wave parameters.
    In AP section dealing with drought it would be appropriate to add some specific words about groundwater, interaction of hydrological regime of surface water and groundwater, which is very important for understanding of hydrological drought as phenomenon.

  • Lea Kauppi21 May 2021 at 17h53

    Contribution of WMO and NHSs to the implementation of the UNECE Water Convention (The Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes) is highly needed. As the Convention is now global and most rivers basins are transboundary, many new countries are preparing for the ratification. Among the key obligations of the Parties to the Convention is joint monitoring and datasharing of between the riparian countries. Harmonized monitoring and data management systems are therefore of high importance, for both water quantity and quality. Sustainable and equitable water allocation is becoming more and more critical under changing climate. For this purpose a Handbook on Water Allocation has been prepared as part of the work programe of the Convention and will be published this year. The instrumental role of reliable data is one of the main messages of the handbook

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