The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Global Water Partnership (GWP) are increasing their long-standing cooperation to strengthen water resource management at a time when climate change, population shifts and environmental degradation are leading to more stress on water supplies and more water-related hazards.
The two organizations signed a Framework Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on strategic collaboration to achieve the objectives of Integrated Water Resources Management. It was signed on 6 June 2019 during a special Hydrological Assembly during the World Meteorological Congress.
“The impacts of climate change are felt through temperature increase and, more significantly, changes in precipitation. There are areas which becoming drier and areas where there is more flooding. This has a major socio-economic and political impact. Thus WMO cooperation with the Global Water Partnership is really important to develop capacity for better management of water resources,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
“We are in a water crisis. It is a crisis about too much water, too little water and too dirty water. Nothing is easy when it comes to water, but nothing is as inspiring as cooperation on water. GWP is opening a new chapter in the cooperation with WMO. It is high time to achieve more climate-resilient water management, the bar needs to raise. It is in this spirit that we want to take the collaboration on water and climate for more action forward.” said Monika Weber-Fahr, Executive Secretary and CEO of the Global Water Partnership, at the signing of the agreement.
WMO and GWP have a long history of collaboration and joint initiatives, including integrated programmes on floodand drought management. They champion an integrated, cross-sector approach to water resource management. This is vital because water investments are spread across many institutions and different levels of government. As a result, decisions are often fragmented and conflicting as water use may be covered by ministries such as agriculture, energy or commerce, that do not have water stewardship as their primary concern.
The new MoU identifies four priority areas for strategic collaboration:
Strengthen the management of hydro-climatic extremes through the joint programmes on flood (APFM) and drought (IDMP). The aim is to strengthen the flood and drought HelpDesks and knowledge communities to support stakeholders through policy and management guidance and the development of knowledge and practical applications of integrated flood and drought management.
Strengthen the capacity of countries to develop high priority water and climate projects. Building on GWP’s work to strengthen countries’ capacity to develop projects to access climate finance and WMO’s work on strengthening the climate rationale of projects,
Strengthen stakeholder engagement on developing water information and products at the regional and country level. This work will build on ongoing collaboration on the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) and WMO initiatives on strengthening hydrological services as part of the WMO Global Hydrological Status and Outlook System (HydroSOS), the World Water Data Initiative and the HydroHub to contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.
Joint programmes, project development, service delivery and joint resource mobilization. Building on the successful collaboration of unlocking funds for climate change adaptation on flood and drought management in the Volta basin, GWP and WMO will continue to help countries access finance for innovative water management projects, climate and hydrological services, and early warning systems.
GWP was established as an inter-governmental organization in 2002. WMO was a founding member, expressing its solidarity with the GWP approach that came to be called Integrated Water Resources Management. Today GWP has 66 Country Water Partnerships and more than 3 000 institutional partners in 182 countries and remains committed to its initial approach to water resource management.