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WHYCOS concept

WHYCOS is a global programme, developed in response to the scarcity or absence of accurate data and information accessible in real or near real time on freshwater resources in many parts of the world, particularly in the developing countries, caused by the deterioration of many observing networks and insufficient data management capabilities. WHYCOS’s ultimate objective is to promote and facilitate the collection, analysis, exchange, dissemination and use of water-related information, using modern information technologies.

The Hydrological Cycle

(Picture modified after USGS original)

WHYCOS is being developed in the form of regional components, HYCOSs, independently implemented, which meet the priorities expressed by the participating countries. The HYCOS components collectively form the building blocks to constitute the WHYCOS programme where hydrological and meteorological variables are captured and transmitted to national and regional databases to support, in all parts of the world, the establishment and enhancement of information systems which can supply reliable water-related data and information to planners, decision makers, scientists and the general public. WHYCOS has also been conceived, as a vehicle for technology transfer, training and capacity building.

WMO, supported by the WHYCOS International Advisory Group, is ensuring that the individual components are implemented in agreement with the global WHYCOS concept through the establishment of standards as outlined in the WMO Technical Regulations and ‘Guide to Hydrological Practices’ and WHYCOS Guidelines.

By providing a framework of common guidelines and standards, WHYCOS enables the use of information from the regional HYCOSs for larger scale applications, such as research into the global hydrological cycle. Hence, WHYCOS can make an important contribution to the work of other WMO and international scientific programmes which require water-related information.