We cannot manage what we do not measure. Water data collection and sharing underpin hydrological monitoring and forecasting and flood and drought early warning services.
Effective flood and drought policies can be implemented only with data and models for assessing the frequency and magnitude of extreme events. Progress towards goals such as improving water use efficiency cannot be calculated without monitoring surface water, groundwater and reservoirs.
Hydrological information can help answer questions like:
What is the quantity, quality and distribution of water resources in our country, river basin and sub-catchment? What is the potential for water-related development? Can the available resource meet actual and foreseeable demands including the needs of ecosystems?
How should we plan, design and operate water projects, such as those involving hydraulic construction, such as hydroelectric facilities, navigation, irrigation and drainage schemes, domestic and industrial water supply, water sanitation, and river restoration?
How do our water resource management practices impact the environment, economy and society? How can we plan sound management strategies?
How can we protect people, property and ecosystems from water-related hazards, particularly floods, droughts and pollutants?
How can we allocate water among competing uses, both within the country and across borders?
How can we meet regulatory requirements?
How can we develop evidence-based climate change adaptation and mitigation policies? How can we ensure the sustainable use of our water resources?
WMO has assumed the direction of the World Water Data Initiative, which was implemented under the leadership of the Australian government and supports countries in water-related policy development to improve access to and use of water data by decision-makers.
WMO HydroHub - The Global Hydrometry Support Facility makes the portfolio of expertise among WMO Members – from science to technology to services – available to support access to end-users of hydrometeorological data and services from various economic sectors as tailored services. These connections help to increase the base of hydrometeorological data – catalyzed by innovative technologies and approaches – to support WMO Members in water-related decision-making.
HydroSOS – The Global Hydrological Status and Outlook System will monitor and predict global freshwater hydrological conditions. Once operational, this worldwide system will regularly report: the current global hydrological status, including groundwater, river flow and soil moisture; an appraisal of where the current status is significantly different from ‘normal,’ for example indicating potential drought and flood situations; and an assessment of whether this is likely to get better or worse over coming weeks and months.
By 2050, there will be 9.7 billion people living on our planet.
World Water Data Initiative Roadmap