About Hydrology and Water Resources Programme

About Hydrology and Water Resources Programme

Purpose and scope

The main goal of the Hydrology and Water Resources Programme is to promote the effective use of hydrology in the framework of Integrated Water Resources Management to contribute to sustainable development, to assist in risk reduction of water-related disasters; and to support effective environmental management at national, basin, regional and international levels. It also aims at strengthening the capabilities of Members, particularly in developing countries and those in transition, through technology transfer and capacity-building, so as to enable them to independently assess their water resources on a continuous basis, and respond, through risk management strategies, to the threat of floods and droughts. It helps enhance Members’ capabilities to provide better hydrologic information, assessment and forecasts for a range of purposes.

HWRP supports Members’ activities in:

  • Monitoring the state of their countries’ and, as a consequence, of the world's freshwater resources;
  • Measuring basic hydrological elements from networks of hydrological and meteorological stations;
  • Collecting, processing, storing, retrieving and publishing hydrological data, including data on the quantity and quality of both surface water and groundwater;
  • Providing data and information for use by planners and water managers;
  • Managing water-related risks, particularly flood and drought management;
  • Installing and operating hydrological forecasting systems; and
  • Integrating meteorological and climatological information and forecasts into water resources management.

Among the Expected Results defined in WMO Strategic Plan, HWRP contributes to the achievement of: Enhanced capabilities of Members to provide better hydrological forecasts and assessments  (Expected result n°3), Enhanced capabilities of Members in multihazard early warning and disaster preparedness (Expected result n°6), Enhanced capabilities of Members to provide and use weather, climate, water and environmental applications and services  (Expected result n°7), Broader use of weather, climate and water outputs for decision-making and implementation by Members and partner organizations  (Expected result n°8) and Enhanced capabilities of NMHSs in developing countries, particularly LDCs, to fulfill their mandates on weather, climate and water  (Expected result n°9).


Structure and governance of the Programme

The Commission for Hydrology (CHy) provides guidance and oversight for the implementation of the Programme, which is implemented through four mutually supporting component programmes:


Cross cutting activities and links with other WMO Programmes

The approach to achieve the goals set by the Organization is in many instances multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral, and the associated activities often involve contributions from several WMO Programmes and, for certain projects, coordinated collaboration with other international organizations dealing in disciplines related to weather, climate and water, consequently, many programme activities are of a crosscutting nature and HWRP is cooperating with other Programmes in their implementation.

Regional aspects of activities and topics covered by the HWRP are implemented by the six Regional Associations of WMO through their working groups on hydrology. Strong cooperation is also implemented in the area of climate, especially as it concerns climate adaptation and drought. The HWRP incorporates and supports a wide range of activities related to education and training in operational hydrology. In addition, a number of WMO's technical cooperation activities are undertaken in the field of operational hydrology.

Hydrological elements are embedded in several other WMO Programmes and activities as listed hereunder: