The Way Forward
The concept of WHYCOS as a vehicle to strengthen technical, human and institutional capacities of National Hydrological Services of Member States in hydrological data collection and development and dissemination of information products to contribute to sustainable development and environmental protection has proven its viability over more than 20 years.
Countries and regional institutions are aware of the strategic value of quality water-related information and are promoting the development of new projects. In the present context of great attention to the potential water crises, donors and development partners are aware of the need for building or strengthening knowledge bases, which is a prerequisite for any development action.
Furthermore the impacts of global change (in particular climate change) on water cycle and regime, with the ensuing effect on human community, require a large amount of reliable data to be analysed, monitored and possibly forecast.
The basin being the natural framework for the management of water resources, WHYCOS has since its inception focused on regional components corresponding to internationally shared basins (such as Niger-HYCOS and Volta-HYCOS) or on regional economic groupings with strong interest in the water sector (such as SADC-HYCOS and IGAD-HYCOS).
This regional approach has not only allowed different components to be developed where and when there was an interest from participating countries, but has also won the interest of donor countries and agencies.
WMO is pursuing its effort, together with partner National Hydrological Services and donors, to implement and ensure sustainability of new and future HYCOS components. At the same time through technical support WMO enables the implementation of the individual components. Following the guidance from the WHYCOS International Advisory Group (WIAG), WMO is also strengthening links between various HYCOSs to create a global network providing global coverage of data and homogeneous information products for the use of the scientific and research communities.