EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

WMO Hydrological Research Strategy 2022‑2030: Operational Hydrology and Water Research Priorities

Maria-Helena Ramos1, Christophe Cudennec2,3, Johannes Cullmann4, Nilay Dogulu3,5, Jürg Luterbacher4, Ilias Pechlivanidis6, and Aaron Salzberg7
Maria-Helena Ramos et al.
  • 1INRAE, UR HYCAR, Antony, France
  • 2UMR SAS, Institut Agro, INRAE, Rennes, France
  • 3International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS)
  • 4World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 5Independent researcher, Ankara, Turkey
  • 6Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), Norrköping, Sweden
  • 7Water Institute, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) supports the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in their mission to deliver operational hydrology services for achieving water security and the water-dependent/water-related Sustainable Development Goals. Operational hydrology is defined as “the real time and regular measurement, collection, processing, archiving and distribution of hydrological, hydrometeorological and cryospheric data, and the generation of analyses, models, forecasts and warnings which inform water resources management and support water-related decisions, across a spectrum of temporal and spatial scales”. The WMO ‘Vision and Strategy for Hydrology and its associated Plan of Action*’, approved by the Extraordinary Congress in October 2021, identifies eight long-term ambitions for operational hydrology in support of the global water agenda: (1) No one is surprised by a flood, (2) Everyone is prepared for drought, (3) Hydro-climate and meteorological data support the food security agenda, (4) High-quality data supports science, (5) Science provides a sound basis for operational hydrology, (6) We have a thorough knowledge of the water resources of our world, (7) Sustainable development is supported by hydrological information, and (8) Water quality is known. The WMO initiatives aim at improving operational hydrology applications by communicating the needs and benefits of hydrological research in support of operational hydrology, and enabling new research partnerships and collaborations with academia and practice communities. In this presentation, we focus on science priorities and knowledge gaps necessary to improve the delivery and the use of hydrologic data, information, and services in operational hydrology. We discuss the WMO Hydrological Research Strategy and how we can strengthen Hydrology/Water topics under the umbrella of the WMO Research Board. We will also report on the main achievements of an expert team, brought together at the end of 2021 to identify complementary and new research areas to strengthen the linkages between water, weather, climate and environment within the existing WMO related programmes, including the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Programme, the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), and the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP).

* The process was led by the WMO Research Board (RB) with inputs from the WMO Hydrological Coordination Panel (HCP), the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS), and the Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP)

How to cite: Ramos, M.-H., Cudennec, C., Cullmann, J., Dogulu, N., Luterbacher, J., Pechlivanidis, I., and Salzberg, A.: WMO Hydrological Research Strategy 2022‑2030: Operational Hydrology and Water Research Priorities, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-11837,, 2022.