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Managing Hydrological Services

Recent years have seen a worldwide trend towards a widening of the mandate of National Hydrological Services (NHSs), beyond their traditional operational hydrology responsibilities. The scope of responsibilities of NHSs now encompasses issues related to environmental aspects and contributes to the integrated management of water resources, as a necessary step towards sustainable development. All of this comes with a backdrop where public organizations are typically requested to reduce their operational costs and their spending.

Under the situation described above, even the best trained managers would be under stress to meet the expectations from their services. Realizing that in most cases, managers of NHS are technical people (that is, hydrologists) promoted to a managerial responsibility, in view of their brilliant technical career, but with little or no managerial training, it is evident why an increasing number of NHSs have requested WMO to issue some guidance material to assist senior officials in managerial capacities to fulfil their responsibilities.

Acknowledging this request, the Executive Council, at its Fifty-second session requested the assistance of the Commission for Hydrology to prepare a set of guidelines on the role and operation of NHSs. The Commission, with the assistance of an external consultant, assumed this responsibility enthusiastically and produced the present report, published in 2006, which, to some extent, goes beyond the mandate given by the Executive Council, as it also covers managerial aspects.

The main objective of these guidelines is to provide guidance to the senior managers of Hydrological Services, on the key issues that they might face, as they lead, manage and administer their Services.

To download the “"Guidelines on the Role, Operation and Management of NHSs" click here




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