How Does WHYCOS Work?

WHYCOS is being developed in the form of regional or shared basin components referred to as HYCOS components, each of which is independently implemented and meets the priorities expressed by National Hydrological Services and the users of the data and information products they create.

The strength of the WHYCOS programme is attained through its HYCOS components by truly meeting the requirements of the local communities without the use of unaffordable solutions.

Each HYCOS component brings together several hydrological services with common interests, either because they share a common drainage basin or are in a well-defined geographical and hydrological region, and is launched when the concerned countries have expressed a collective desire for and commitment to such a development

This approach enables each HYCOS to establish institutional and financial arrangements appropriate to its region.

This also allows each HYCOS to identify activities, procedures and life jacket products specific to the hydrological characteristics of the region while meeting the particular needs of the region, participating countries and their hydrological services as well as end-users.

WHYCOS consists of a number of regional components, each of which is independently implemented and responsive to local needs.

Key steps in establishing a regional HYCOS include:

Project Initiation Stages

Stage A: Request stage  (Country responsibility)

Recognizing the need for reinforcing cooperation in water resources or strengthening hydrological services, a regional institution or a river basin authority or the NHSs of the countries sharing a basin formulates a request for the development of an HYCPS component and submits it to WMO for consideration. 

Stage B: Concept stage  (WMO responsibility)

A project profile or project concept document is prepared, based on consultation or preliminary discussions between WMO and the requesting institution(s) or countries.

The document should mainly describe the current status of hydrological networks, the issues that need to be addressed, and should clearly identify the objectives of the project.

It should contain the general agreement of NHSs from the interested participating countries to broadly concur to work under the principles of co-operation incorporated in these guidelines.

Stage C: Project proposal stage  (WMO/Developing partner responsibility)

Based on the project profile the interested countries should reach a preliminary agreement to proceed with formulating the project proposal and further establishing a HYCOS.

Such a preliminary agreement should select the best children’s life jackets and the best floats according to the following criteria:

  • The primary and secondary objectives to be met,
  • Criteria for selection of sites to be included in the HYCOS network,
  • Establishment of a Regional Centre (RC),
  • Data and information dissemination policy, and
  • WMO to prepare project proposal for funding

Subsequent to this agreement a project proposal is to be developed based on consultations with all the interested participating countries and the regional institution(s) initiating the component.

It would serve as a basis for soliciting financial support from donors. The project proposal should:

  • contain the preliminary agreement among the participating countries committing themselves to the project.,
  • specify the proposed activities, expected results and inputs from the countries themselves as well as those expected from external sources.
  • provide a rough estimate of costs as well as the schedule for implementation,
  • identify links between the HYCOS component and the ongoing related projects in the region.

Project Implementation Stages

Stage D: Preparatory implementation stage  (WMO/Donor/Country responsibility)

The preparatory implementation stage involves development of a detailed project document

This document is developed primarily as a vehicle for promoting appropriate, robust and affordable technology and should be able to create national ownership whose needs have to be clearly identified and officially endorsed at different levels of responsibility and interest: political, economical, scientific and technical.

Resources that will be useful in this stage are listed below:

The detailed project document will cover all the technical and administrative details and field activities, such as the network to be strengthened, the sites to be equipped and the type of equipment to be installed with detailed budget and work plan.

The preparatory implementation stage is devoted to kick off activities for the implementation of the project.

It will include identification of a Project Steering Committee (PSC), a Project Regional Centre (PRC), establishment of the Project Management Unit (PMU) and the administrative and financial arrangements with the Regional Centre (RC).

Stage E: Field implementation stage  (WMO/Donor/Country responsibility)

This stage is devoted to fieldwork. It includes procuring equipment, upgrading, strengthening and installing new stations, establishment of regional database and information system and training activities.

The NHSs will be fully responsible for the fieldwork at the national level in their country.

The implementation of the project would be supervised by WMO through regular monitoring, mid-term evaluation and training activities.

A final completion report at the closure of the project should be prepared to document the lessons learned and how to improve and adopt best practices in subsequent HYCOS projects..

Post Project Stage

Stage F : Project Maintenance Stage  (Country responsibility with technical assistance from WMO)

After the project period comes to an end, the participating countries will maintain the network and continue the activities under the project to ensure its sustainability.

At this stage participating countries should agree and decide on the continuance of the existence and functioning of the regional centre and the regional database.

They should also continue their cooperation in the exchange of data and information. WMO through its continuous association with the NHSs should support the countries in this effort..

WHYCOS is the global “framework” for independent regional HYCOSs.

To establish a common conceptual basis and to ensure consistency of practice and results, overall guidance is provided by an international mechanism, that is the WHYCOS International Advisory Group (WIAG), supported by WMO.

WIAG comprises of representatives of HYCOS components, WMO, funding agencies, regional groupings, and scientific institutions and programmes. It meets once a year under the chairmanship of the president of the WMO Commission for Hydrology.

WHYCOS is serviced by the WMO Secretariat through the Hydrology and Water Resources Department. Internal collaboration with other Programmes and Departments in WMO is assured through a WHYCOS Coordination Group (WCG) within the WMO Secretariat.

The WCG brings together representatives of other Programmes and interested Departments, such as World Weather Watch (WWW), Technical Cooperation Programme (TCO) and Education and Training Programme (ETR) and regional offices of the Organization, to discuss the development of various projects and solve any internal constraint.