World Meteorological Organization / Nestlé

Hydrological Observation Data and Services for Good Governance

Sunday 26 August | 14.00-15.30 | Room: NL 357
Drying stone spouts in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal by Palpasa Prajapati

This interactive session will bring together providers of decision-support services with decision-makers from the public and private sectors to catalyze a dialogue on how to improve mutual understanding on service delivery between these two groups.

Increasing competition over limited water resources in a fast transforming world calls for good information on these resources for better decision making, preserving fragile ecosystems, and supporting human and economic development. In contrast to the rising need for information, budgets for service provision are decreasing, calling for even more effective and efficient communication between the user and the provider of decision-support services.

The session will showcase positive examples of benefit-sharing partnerships in which decision-support services are used for good management covering the full quality improvement cycle. From the baseline information that is used to develop a strategy, to the monitoring of impacts that facilitate fine-tuning, to the assessment of their long-term evolution. All elements of the cycle are interlinked and play a role in assessing and communicating success and failure.

Participants will be invited to contribute to the debate through active round table discussions aiming at developing key recommendations that will help improve and sustain communication channels between the users and providers of hydrological services.

Gold standard events are committed to ensure the gender balance in speakers/panellists and young professional representation in the session.

Programme

The session will be moderated by Claudio Caponi, Chief, Capacity Building, Hydrology and Water Resources Management Division, WMO

14:00 – 14:10 Setting the scene  

A general presentation to help set the scene will be provided by Harry Lins, President of the WMO Commission for Hydrology.

14:10 – 14:30 Moderated panel discussion

Broad panel comprising representatives from the public and private sectors, civil society and youth, each sharing insights from their own perspectives. Interview-style panel discussion where panellists will have 4 minutes each to answer one or two questions from the moderator.

Suggested panellists include:

Noosha Tayebi, Water Resources Management Analyst, Water Global Practice, World Bank

Gete Zeleke, Director of the Water and Land Resource Centre, Addis Ababa University

Sandra Brühlmann, Water Policy Advisor, Focal Point Water, SDC

Hassan Aboelnga, World Youth Parliament for Water, Arab Region Representative

14:30 – 15:15 Discussion: Opportunities to improve communication between users and providers of hydrological services  

Participants will discuss opportunities to foster good communication between users and providers of hydrological services.

Guiding questions:

• What key success factors can be drawn from experience to date?

• What additional actions can leaders take to encourage and improve communication?

• How can technical data be translated into terms that are understandable by the biggest number of end users?

An introduction to the “Mentimeter voting” will be introduced by Sophia Sandström, WMO HydroHub Project Coordinator to help identify the most innovative solution to improve the availability and use of hydrological data.

15:15 – 15:30 Recap and closing

A brief summary of the main outcomes of the session by Cédric Egger, Corporate Water Resources Manager, Nestlé

Conclusion

In his opening remarks, Harry Lins, WMO Commission for Hydrology, highlighted that “We only can manage what we can measure”.  The reasons for this are many, as the availability of hydrological data is crucial to plan, design and operate urban and industrial infrastructures as well as many economic risks such as flooding, storms and droughts. When it comes to measurements as such, Harry emphasized on the huge amount of data coming from various sources, countries, systems, and which contribute to the elaboration of different relevant products throughout the entire value chain (i.e. weather
This can only be done by promoting collaboration, data exchange, but also by leveraging the knowledge and the expertise, and finally by mobilizing private and public sectors. At the end of his remarks, Harry mentioned the failure so far in bridging the technical and policy communities and that efforts need to be done to address this weakness.

The panel discussion that followed comprised four speakers that highlighted the importance of hydrological observation data for good governance from their own perspective.

Noosha Tayebi, World Bank brought the financing view to the discussion, highlighting the importance of bridging the technical aspects with the policy makers. Noosha also highlighted how the World Bank systematically started programs based on Innovation – Policy – and Harmonization of Data Use.

Gete Zeleke, Addis Ababa University, brought the  users’ perspective to the discussion, highlighting to what extend data fosters concrete actions in the field, in terms of land management and economic development. Gete provided participants with an example of an integrated water management and land use controlling system to cope with potential groundwater jeopardization in the north of Addis Ababa.

Sandra Brühlmann, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation brought in the donor perspective, highlighting the importance of innovation today in the context of Big Data due to systemic insufficient budget/maintenance, but also because of insufficient data sharing. Sandra mentioned the provision of simpler and inexpensive tools that need to be coordinated and shared on a transboundary dimension for the benefits of all.

Hassan Aboelnga,  World Youth Parliament for Water brought a youth voice to the discussion and mentioned that considering the overall “bad water management”, efforts should  focus on the real Sustainable Development Goal targets, while changing the mindset and engaging with stakeholders, especially at local level, without leaving anyone behind.

In his closing remarks, Cédric Egger, Nestlé Waters, provided participants with a brief summary of the main points that had been discussed and highlighted the two recommendations to improve the availability and use of hydrological data that received the highest votes by participants using Mentimeter.

The two most innovative solutions that were identified by the Mentimeter voting to improve the availability and use of hydrological data are outlined

  1. Develop strategic information that show the benefits of hydrological data
    Strategic information, briefings and incentives should specifically be developed for politicians and high-level government officials that demonstrate the social, economic and political benefits of implementing, maintaining and using hydrological data and services.
  2. Form alliances incl. private sector, technical agencies, politicians, civil society