Facilitating Africa Wide Hydromet Services

April 30, 2014

Africa is highly vulnerable to climate variability and there is limited capacity to cope with natural disasters, as well as to improve forecasts to help its population better manage its water and agriculture related infrastructure and investments. Climate change threatens to exacerbate this further in all the key river basins.

A critical need for improved climate resilience is a well-functioning hydro-meteorological monitoring and forecasting system.  The current hydromet systems are inadequate and consist of traditional manual systems or ad hoc and poorly planned automated systems, and the real-time hydromet information shared among riparian countries in such river basins and especially in the public domain is very poor.

This activity will help scope an operation to fill critical missing regional to national gaps in hydromet networks working with a range of partners, integrate, visualize, and analyze such information in conjunction with earth observation systems in order to improve regional forecasting services and use for enhancing productivity and managing disasters. This activity will involve the following:

  • Preparation of a phased Africa Hydromet Services Program to modernize the hydromet services by gradually filling in missing links in the use of global and regional information in national programs in critical transboundary river and lake basins across Africa. This will include an analytical scoping assessment that takes stock of current status and ongoing/proposed programs; explores global good practice on information, institutions, and investments; evaluates options for the Africa region for investment phasing, packaging, and implementation; and evaluates potential costs and benefits. 
  • Technical assistance and Capacity-building to trans-boundary basin organizations in Africa to modernize the hydromet system networks. This will include targeted training and professional networking.

The findings from this activity would inform a larger sustained engagement of CIWA in hydromet services.