I am pleased to announce that the pre-session discussion forum for issues and documents associated with the 15th Session of the Commission for Hydrology is now open and can be accessed at http://www.whycos.org/wordpress/?page_id=758. This site is the official mechanism for CHy members and colleagues in the National Hydrological Services to use in commenting on the documents that will be reviewed and approved at CHy-15. All communication related to session topics will be handled through this electronic forum, including documents that provide background information, that are specifically aim at soliciting comments, and that represent drafts of official reports to be reviewed and approved at the Session. The success of CHy-15 is highly dependent upon the use of this pre-session discussion forum by the CHy community. I strongly encourage you to use it not only to refine and strengthen the CHy-15 programme reports, but also to reflect better the needs and concerns of your Services and Regions.
What is CHy e-Board?
The CHy e-Board is a virtual space where the Commission for Hydrology (CHy) community posts information of interest.
Appropriate posts for the CHy e-Board include communications from the President, documents for discussion, announcements of forthcoming meetings etc, related to the work of the Commission for Hydrology.
YHS is a bottom-up initiative which aspires to function as an umbrella organization for many aspects important to early-career hydrologists, including scientific training, professional development, and networking with young peers and more-senior scientists. Since it was founded in October 2012 YHS has received great support from the geosciences unions European Geosciences Union (EGU) and American Geophysical Union (AGU) as a way to increase early career member involvement in the hydrological community (Berghuijs et al., 2015).
The five main objectives which are currently adopted are:
- facilitate connections among hydrologists early in their careers
- organize events to enhance the professional development of early-career hydrologists
- provide a central information platform for early-career hydrologists
- create awareness of current and future research topics within hydrology
- make the scientific community more accessible to early-career hydrologists
Information on progress in preparation of document in the thematic area Water, Climate and Risk Management – extended hydrological predictions
The Commission for Hydrology on its 14th session has among other activities asked to:
“Compile case studies and provide guidance on extended hydrological prediction for water resources management including information on related climate drivers”.
A group of experts met to discuss the document structure and steps in its preparation in Geneva this week. We agreed to prepare document that is intended to support operation and practice of National Hydrological Services (NHSs) and other practitioners in the field of extended hydrological predictions. As such the main aim of the document is to provide a general overview of concepts, methods and system development including the users concerns and provide case studies to demonstrate it.
Our target user groups are hydrologists and managers of National Hydrological Services who intend to increase their activity in predictions for longer leadtimes.
The discussion led to a proposal of following table of content.
You are welcome to comment on the document structure represented by table of contents as soon as possible. You are also welcome to express your interest to contribute to document preparation e.g. by provision of examples of case studies or by an internal review of selected chapters.
WMO/OGC Hydrology Domain Working Group (HydroDWG) supports the WMO Hydrological Observing System (WHOS)
On September 20-23 2015 the HydroDWG (http://external.opengis.org/twiki_public/HydrologyDWG/WebHome) met in Orleans, France for its annual workshop to discuss progress and plan activities for the next year. At the meeting (http://external.opengis.org/twiki_public/HydrologyDWG/OrleansWorkshop2015), the HydroDWG adopted a resolution to recommend establishment of a WHOS portal to provide access to OGC standard-conformant water data services provided by National Hydrological Services.
In this context, since 2009 two standards have been approved by the OGC, WaterML2: Part 1 – Timeseries in 2012 and WaterML2: Part 2 – Ratings, gaugings and sections in 2015. The first of these standards provides an XML encoding for the exchange of time series observations of, for example water level or discharge at a stream monitoring station; while the second standard deals with the exchange of ratings and gaugings information and river cross-sections. Through the CHy Data Operations and Management theme, testing of hydrological data exchange is being undertaken over the period 2013-2016 in a number of pilot projects in countries, regions and river basins around the world.
On August 31, 2015 there was an e-Board post entitled WMO Hydrological Observing System (WHOS). The posting provided a link to a new CHy website where users can access hydrological data that are made freely and openly available online by National Hydrological Services using a map interface. No explanatory information as to why and how this new website came about was provided, so I thought it appropriate to provide Commission members with some additional background.
In February 2013, just three months after becoming president, I represented CHy at a meeting of the Inter-Commission Group on the WMO Global Observing System (ICG-WIGOS). At that meeting, it became apparent that other groups within WMO had a misperception that WHYCOS was a data repository that could serve as the CHy contribution to WIGOS. After explaining that WHYCOS was a capacity building mechanism, with a goal of building sustainable hydrological databases, I realized that the Commission needed to provide some mechanism to access existing hydrological data within the framework of WIGOS.
At the second meeting of the CHy Advisory Working Group (AWG) in September 2014, I proposed the development of a WMO Hydrological Observing System (WHOS) as a mechanism for fulfilling the Commission’s effort to support WIGOS implementation. The AWG endorsed this proposal and, as part of my report to Congress 17 this past June, I presented the WHOS concept and plan for its development. Congress urged the promotion of WHOS among National Hydrological Services as well as the broader hydrological community.
WHOS is conceived as a portal to facilitate access to already available on-line real-time and historical data, drawing from the water information systems of countries around the world that make their data freely and openly available, including HYCOS projects. It is being developed in two phases in preparation for review and endorsement by CHy-15 in December 2016. The first phase is the establishment of a map interface on the CHy website that links to those NHSs that make their real-time and/or historical stage and discharge data available online. This map interface was implemented online in August 2015, as noted in the August 31 e-Board posting. The second phase is a much more comprehensive undertaking aimed at developing a fully WIS/WIGOS compliant services-oriented framework linking hydrologic data providers and users through a hydrologic information system that enables data registration, data discovery, and data access. A beta version of this capability is being prepared for CHy-15 review and endorsement, with an aim to have an initial implementation of the full capability ready for EC approval in June 2018.
Significantly, the WMO Hydrological Observing System will go a long way to fulfilling the desire of hydrologists and water resources specialists worldwide to have simple access to hydrological data from those National Hydrological Services around the world that make their data freely and openly available. It represents a major CHy achievement and I hope you find it both exciting and useful.
Harry F. Lins, President, Commission for Hydrology