Hydrology and Water Resources
As the world enters the 21st Century, it faces many challenges, above all that of establishing a sustainable way of life that would not threaten future generations.
One of the essential elements of life on this planet is freshwater. Sustainable development therefore demands sustainable management of the world's limited resources of freshwater. Water resources cannot be managed, however, unless we know where they are, in what quantity and quality, and how variable they are likely to be in the foreseeable future.
The challenge is to provide such hydrologic information on a regular basis.
For over 70 years, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and its predecessor, the International Meteorological Organization, have supported National Hydrological Services, River Basin Authorities and other institutions responsible for water management in a wide range of activities. Presently, the Hydrology and Water Resources Programme (HWRP) is concerned with the assessment of the quantity and quality of water resources, both surface and groundwater, in order to meet the needs of society, to permit mitigation of water-related hazards, and to maintain or enhance the condition of the global environment. It includes standardization of various aspects of hydrological observations and the organized transfer of technologies for enabling Hydrological Services to provide the hydrological data and information required for the sustainable development of their countries. It provides advice to Members on flood management policy and assists them in their effort to adopt Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) with an emphasis on practical applications.