Status of Hydrological in-situ Networks and Future Developments Including Space-Based Observations
Grabs, W

Conventional, in-situ hydrological networks are the backbone on national, regional and global levels to obtain hydrological data and information. Such information is needed, amongst others for water resources management, hydrological forecasting including disaster prevention and research and development related to hydrological processes and climate modelling and assessments of impacts of climate change. The presentation provides an overview of existing hydrological networks and information systems including WMO’s World Hydrological Cycle Observing System (WHYCOS) and discusses strength and weaknesses of such existing systems against an overall trend of declining hydrological networks versus the need for even more and better hydrological information in the future. Recognizing the need for truly integrated hydrological observing systems, concepts for such systems are discussed using the Global Terrestrial Network Hydrology (GTN-H) of WMO and GCOS as an approach. A project document on “Hydrological Applications and Run-Off Network” (HARON) is presented that addresses the requirements and technical feasibility of a global near-real time hydrological observing system based on a multi-platform (in-situ, space-based) observation concept. This project is planned to be facilitated by GEO and executed by WMO, GCOS and the Integrated Global Water Cycle Observations (IGWCO) theme of the IGOS partners. An outlook is provided to show the potential of space-based information complementary to in-situ hydrological observations to improve the availability and access to hydrological data and information.


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