Hydrological Coordination Panel

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Terms of Reference

General mandate

(1) The Hydrological Coordination Panel is the WMO think tank on hydrology. It supports and advises on an integrated delivery of WMO water-related activities and undertakes preparatory work for the Hydrological Assembly, in relation to current and emerging scientific and technical water-related global challenges. The Panel integrates the hydrological work of WMO into the wider global water agenda, and supports and advises the EC Technical Coordination Committee (EC/TCC). The Panel works in accordance with the purposes of the Organization related to hydrology including but not limited to Article 2(e) of the Convention:
"To promote activities in operational hydrology and to further close cooperation between Meteorological and Hydrological Services."

(2) The Hydrological Coordination Panel shall support the efforts of the EC/TCC to identify service and related science and technology gaps associated with each element of the seamless end-to-end operational prediction process whose elements include data, data services, modelling, forecasting, warnings, dissemination, decision support, training and outreach. Once identified and prioritized, information regarding these gaps can be used to inform investment decisions made by Members to build operational capacity.

(3) The Hydrological Coordination Panel provides the practical mechanism for WMO to support an integrated delivery of hydrological activities including those with the private sector, NGOs, other governmental organizations, UN, other international organizations, and the research community. Such an integrated delivery will be promoted by inviting representatives of such partner organizations to act as members of the Hydrological Coordination Panel and by the provision of Hydrological Coordination Panel representatives to other external water bodies.

(4) The Panel supports the integration of hydrological, cryospheric, meteorological and climatological activities (such as the Observing Systems Capability Analysis and Review (OSCAR), the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS), the Global DataProcessing and Forecasting System (GDPFS), the Global Multi-hazard Alert System (GMAS), etc.).

Specific terms of reference

The Hydrological Coordination Panel shall:

(1) Develop the Vision and Strategy for Hydrology and its associated Plan of Action, which support the achievement of water-related WMO Strategic Plan goals to be reviewed by EC-72 in 2020 and submitted for consideration of the extraordinary session of Congress in 2021. The WMO Vision and Strategy will be continuously updated for regular sessions of the Hydrological Assembly;

(2) Support the achievement of water-related WMO Strategic Plan goals and operating plan objectives while paying particular attention to hydrological interactions with climate by:
(a) Integrating water-related services across WMO, promoting collaboration and linkages among hydrology, cryospheric science, climatology and meteorology so as to encourage a seamless delivery of water-
related services;
(b) Supporting the EC/TCC in aligning the work programme across WMO bodies to implement Congress decisions related to hydrology and water resources management, including the ongoing major hydrological
initiatives (Annex 2);
(c) Maintaining and strengthening WMO key strategic cooperation with relevant intergovernmental, governmental and non-governmental organizations in the area of hydrology including its application to water
resources management to support the implementation of the WMO Vision and Strategy for Hydrology and its associated Plan of Action through:
(i) Promoting partner organizations’ involvement in the hydrological activities of WMO;
(ii) Collating and communicating the advice and views of key hydrological partners to other WMO bodies;
(iii) Representing the WMO hydrological community in the working groups and projects of other partners as invited;
(d) Ensuring hydrological community engagement in the Infrastructure Commission, particularly in relation to:
(i) Supporting Members in developing and maintaining their capabilities in the monitoring of hydrological elements characterizing the quantity and quality of water and sediment in the hydrological cycle;
(ii) Supporting Members in their integration of hydrological observing and data systems with those for other parts of the Earth system;
(iii) Collaborating on the preparation of regulatory material for the basic measurement of variables characterizing water and sediment quantity and quality;
(e) Supporting the hydrological community’s engagement in the Services Commission, particularly in relation to:
(i) The development of climatological and meteorological services for hydrology and of hydrological services for meteorology and climatology;
(ii) Supporting Members in developing and maintaining hydrological forecasts and warnings;
(iii) Supporting Members in developing and maintaining products and practices for effective and sustainable water resources management;

(f) Supporting Members in managing the implementation of those activities that are hydrological in nature, including those with key external partners;

(g) Working with Regional Associations to aid the preparation and implementation of the regional Hydrological Plans of Action and ensure WMO support to Members in their development of new and enhanced
capabilities in hydrology and water resources, including, but not limited to:
(i) Hydrological observations, such as, but not limited to, those related to surface and sub-surface variables characterizing the quantity and quality of water and sediment;
(ii) Hydrological status assessments and outlook services through the implementation of the Hydrological Status and Outlook System (HydroSOS) and the development of other water information and products;
(iii) The application of water-related data, information and products to the assessment, effective management, and sustainable development of water resources and to the protection of society from hydrological
(iv) The implementation of practices and procedures for the free and unrestricted exchange of hydrological data and products;

(h) Collecting and developing coordinated specifications of requirements for the development of hydro services projects and ensure the coordination of WMO contributions to such projects;

(i) Regularly review and update the WMO Vision and Strategy for Hydrology and its associated Plan of Action, provide input to the WMO strategy and operational planning, taking into account the ambitions of
Members expressed at the Hydrological Assembly and the Congress, the requirements voiced by Regional Associations and report to the Executive Council on the Plan of Action;
(3) Develop a draft Declaration for consideration of the extraordinary session of Congress in 2021 taking into consideration the reinforcement of the importance of operational hydrology in addressing global water challenges, opportunities in the future in the broader WMO interdisciplinary context and the recommendation of the Hydrology Assembly;

(4) Provide guidance for implementing WMO activities to address the long-term ambition “Water quality is known” through involvement in relevant initiatives currently underway at a global and regional level;

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