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Programme on Hydrological Forecasting for Water Resources Management (HFWR)

The objective of the Programme on Hydrological Forecasting for Water Resources Management (HFWR) is to promote the application of hydrological modeling and forecasting techniques, and of risk assessment and management approaches to the risk reduction and prevention of water-related disasters. It advocates and supports the adoption of Integrated Flood Management approaches; to promote better understanding of the implications of climate variability and change on water resources management. The Programme undertakes a review of operational requirements for forecasts and warnings and support the development and improvement of various techniques to predict extreme hydrological events, in particular floods and droughts. Emphasis is also placed on low season flow forecasting, with particular reference to hydrological drought prediction. Support is provided for developing periodic outlooks of water availability, which, together with flood forecasts, might be issued through the media in conjunction with weather forecasts and seasonal outlooks. To achieve the above, increased coordination is provided between hydrological, meteorological and climatological services.

Activities will build capacities in NHSs to provide improved short-, medium and long-term meteorological and hydrological forecasts, mainly through the development and implementation of the Strategy and Action Plan and pilot projects under the WMO Flood Forecasting Initiative (FFI). This initiative aims also to the couple Numerical Weather Predictions (NWP) models with hydrological models to improve short-term forecasting.

A particular focus is the development of guidance material for the application of risk management strategies, assessment of water hazard risks, and their management, and risk reduction within a multi-hazard framework. Guidance on Flood Hazard Mapping is being developed to help build capacities in Flood Risk Assessment. Advisory services in flood management policy and strategy formulation, with an emphasis on integrated approaches and support in establishing an enabling environment for flood management with attention to economic, social, environmental and legal aspects of flood management is carried out through the Associated Programme on Flood Management (APFM).

The use of remote sensing and global sources of data is promoted through the Global Terrestrial Network–Hydrology (GTN-H) in building integrated data products for use in climate adaptation activities. Awareness about the availability of these products is provided to NHS.

In its implementation HFWR is closely linked with the World Climate Applications Programme, Disaster Risk Reduction Programme, Technical Cooperation Programme and the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).

For more details on the plans for the implementation of HFWR Programme see WMO Secretariat Operating Plan (p. 31).




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