HydroSOS Caribbean Workshop strengthens water resources management

01 de noviembre de 2023

Caribbean nations have embarked on a new initiative to strengthen hydrology, water resources management, disaster risk reduction, and climate resilience in a region which is heavily impacted by tropical cyclones, floods, droughts and ecosystem degradation, and where a number of countries are classified as water scarce.

More than 30 experts in meteorology and hydrology gather in Bridgetown, Barbados on 31 October  for a three-day HydroSOS Caribbean Implementation Workshop. Organized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in partnership with the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), it will utilize a collaborative approach to develop an implementation strategy for sustainable water resources management.

“The HydroSOS Caribbean Implementation Workshop represents an excellent opportunity for Caribbean nations to collaborate to improve understanding of the status and outlook of water resources in the Caribbean,” said  Sabu Best, Director of the Barbados Meteorological Services. He said the workshop would initiate an action plan and comprehensive roadmap and serve as a catalyst for regional cooperation and resilience building.

“The HydroSOS Caribbean initiative will play a crucial role in addressing the complex challenges presented by hydrological hazards in an era of climate change by ensuring Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are kept informed so that we can prepare and protect our societies and economies from adverse impacts. This workshop will foster a deeper understanding of water resource management and facilitate the development of effective adaptation strategies," said Dr. David Farrell, Principal of the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology.

HydroSOS is led by WMO and aims at building a trusted operational global framework capable of assessing the current status of surface and groundwater hydrological systems and predicting how they will change in future. It seeks to provide global, regional, national, and local scale standardized hydrological information to understand and monitor the world’s freshwater and groundwater systems, and to adapt to changes in the water cycle and in water storage.

“This represents a significant step towards building resilience and adapting to the changing climate by improving hydrological value chain,  and will allow Caribbean governments to make informed decisions to better manage hydrological resources, enhance early warning systems for water related hazards, and mitigate threats to water security to create a safer and more resilient Caribbean.

We can not manage what we do not measure. The Caribbean – and the world – need HydroSOS,”said Alberto Zúñiga Mora, WMO Regional Hydrological Adviser IV for North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Several countries in the Caribbean are classified as water scarce and others experiencing varying levels of water stress.

“The launch is especially timely in a year when the El Niño event is expected to have a major impact on precipitation patterns and associated floods and droughts in the region. We are at the end of the 2023 North Atlantic hurricane season – a season which brought damaging rainfall and flooding to a number of Caribbean nations. The HydroSOS Caribbean Project will complement the international Early Warnings for All Initiative, which has prioritized Small Island Developing States,” said  Dr. Hwirin Kim, Head of Hydrology and Water Resources Services Division at the WMO.

Media contacts:

Lyn-Marie Deane, Communications Specialist, Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) – ldeane@cimh.edu.bb

Clare Nullis, Media Officer │ Cabinet Office of the Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) –  CNullis@wmo.int

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