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Cablegate: Wmo Commission for Hydrology, Usdel Readout

VZCZCXRO7948
RR RUEHAST RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHTM
DE RUEHGV #1033/01 3291304
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 241304Z NOV 08
FM USMISSION GENEVA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7622
INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2877

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 GENEVA 001033

STATE FOR IO/T FOR MGOLDSTEIN
STATE PASS NOAA FOR GENERAL J. KELLY, CBARRETT, NOAA IA FOR
SWAREHARRIS, NOAA OAR FOR REPPI, NOAA NWS FOR GCARTER and PRESTREPO
STATE PASS USGS FOR MLARSEN
STATE PASS US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
STATE PASS US BUREAU OF RECLAMATION
STATE PASS NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EFIN WMO UN ECOSOC
SUBJECT: WMO Commission for Hydrology, USDEL Readout

1. SUMMARY: At the WMO Commission on Hydrology (CHy) November
4-13, the U.S. delegation achieved USG objectives of becoming a
member of the Advisory Working Group (WWG), getting technical
experts on the working teams, and advancing the coordination with
UNESCO/IHP on climate issues. END SUMMARY.

2. The United States participated in the WMO Hydrology Commission
(CHy) November 4-13 in Geneva. 52 CHy members participated. Bruce
Stewart (Australia) and J. Wellens-Mensah (Ghana) were elected CHy
president and vice president, respectively. Outputs & activities
are presented below by topic areas.

------------------------
Climate and Water Issues
------------------------

3. Regarding climate and water issues, the Commission decided to
actively participate in the development of the WMO initiative to
encourage provision and dissemination of climate and hydrological
information in support of adaptation to climate variability and
change, and to provide feedback to WMO from the water community. It
further decided that its collaboration with the water tasks of GEO
be facilitated largely through the Integrated Global Water Cycle
Observations (IGWCO) theme. The Commission also recommended
establishing a joint CHy-CCl (Commission for Climatology) task team
to guide hydro-climatic activities that would replace the World
Climate Program (WCP)-Water, including issuing an invitation to
UNESCO to participate. A recommendation was also made to promote
the active involvement of water managers and members of CHy in the
Third World Climate Conference (WCC-3).

------------------------------------------
Hydrologic Forecasting and Flood Management
-------------------------------------------

4. The Commission adopted the text of the "Hydrologic Forecasting
and Flood Management" document following discussions on the need to
move the WMO statement on the "scientific basis for, and limitations
of, hydrologic forecasting" to the quality management framework.
Several interventions indicated that such a document needed review
before its incorporation. In addition, there was concern from
several countries to incorporate drought discussions into the
document; thus, the commission recognized that hydrological aspects
of drought are an important component of hydrological forecasting
and prediction services provided by National Hydrologic Services.
The Commission further expressed the need to better integrate
Quantitative Precipitation estimates and probability factors into
flood forecasting practices together with multi-model forecasting
techniques and numerical weather predictions. The adopted report is
consistent with U.S. interests and goals.

--------------------------------------------- ----
Statement on Hydrological Forecasting Limitations
--------------------------------------------- ----

5. The Commission was presented with a statement on the limitations
of hydrological forecasting. Delegates welcomed the information as
useful for explaining uncertainties affecting hydrological
forecasting to government officials. However, many delegations
expressed the opinion that the document should be improved, and so a
special working party was established to redraft the statement.
Members of USDEL, through the special working party, drafted a new
statement considering the input of the special working party and
written contributions from the Canadian delegation. The draft will
be reviewed by commission members and submitted to the AWG for
adoption in February 2009. The redrafted statement is consistent
with U.S. interests and goals.

-------------------------------------------
WMO Quality Management Framework (Hydrology)
-------------------------------------------

6. The Commission adopted a Quality Management Framework-Hydrology
(QMF) that provides strategy and tools for National Hydrological
Services to use in gaining efficiency and effectiveness in the
conduct of their operations. It also adopted a peer review process
for all CHy Technical Guidance Documents, including a call to
collaborate with the Inter-Commission Task Team on Quality
Management Framework (ICTT QMF). It further recommended that the
Executive Council (EC) review the concept of mandatory publications
in light of the WMO QMF, and that EC adopt a revised glossary on
terminology related to QMF including the term 'standard.'

--------------------------------------------- ---------

GENEVA 00001033 002 OF 002


Future Program of Work and Structure of the Commission
--------------------------------------------- ---------

7. Four thematic areas were adopted by CHy as the focus of its work
for the forthcoming inter-sessional period: quality management
framework - hydrology; water resources assessment; hydrological
forecasting and prediction; and water, climate and risk management.
To manage the activities associated with each theme, the Commission
re-established the Advisory Working Group (AWG) with nine members
(including the CHy President and Vice-President) supported by five
Open Panels of CHy Experts (OPACHE). A member of the U.S.
Delegation, Dr. Harry F. Lins (USGS), was approved by the Commission
as a member of the AWG with responsibility for Quality Management
Framework - Hydrology. This is Lins' second term on the AWG. All
elements of the program approved by the Commission are consistent
with U.S. interests and goals.

--------------------------------------------- --
WMO Strategic Plan 2012-2015 and Monitoring and Evaluation of HWRP
--------------------------------------------- --

8. With respect to the WMO Strategic Plan 2012-2015, the Commission
recommended that its members, particularly the Advisory Working
Group, continue involvement in all stages of the development of the
Strategic Plan, including the identification of Key Performance
Indicators (KPI's) and the monitoring and evaluation process for the
Hydrology and Water Resources Program. It also encouraged the WMO
hydrological community to take advantage of every opportunity to
provide prioritized proposals and suggestions to the formulation of
the Strategic Plan for the period 2012-2015 through, for example,
the deliberations of such WMO bodies as Regional Working Groups on
Hydrology and Regional Associations.

Tichenor#

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