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Integrated Global Water Cycle Observations (IGWCO) Theme

Welcome to the web pages of the Integrated Global Water Cycle Observations (IGWCO) Theme

Through its broad base of scientific researchers and experts on the various components of the hydrologic cycle, the Integrated Global Water Cycle Observation (IGWCO) theme has contributed actively to each of the Water Tasks contained in the GEO Work Plan. These contributions in the form of strategic guidance, coordination, and gap analysis have been instrumental to the development of the water segment of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) as it seeks to attain the targets of developing an integrated, sustained operational global water cycle observation system and increase the use of Earth observations with respect to integrated water resource management by 2015.

In addition, the IGWCO has been active in the establishment of a Water Cycle Community of Practice (WCCoP), the aim of which is to provide a unique perspective on the information needs of the water community by bringing together representatives who have knowledge of the decision processes in the water sector with those who have an interest in seeing Earth Observations being used more effectively to address those questions.

At the 13th meeting for the Commission of Hydrology (CHy), held 4-12 November 2008 at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva, the Commission recognized the complementary nature of the GEO Water Tasks to activities undertaken by the Commission and expressed its expectation that the IGWCO, co-hosted by the WMO, will act as an effective conduit of the Commission’s inputs in support of the GEO Water Tasks. The Commission further decided that the collaboration between the Commission and the Water Tasks of GEO should be largely facilitated through the IGWCO theme.

The Global Water Cycle theme has been established by the Integrated Global Observing Strategy Partnership (IGOS-P). The overall objective of the IGWCO is to develop and promote strategies for the coordination of diverse global water cycle observing systems, and to make progress towards an integrated water cycle observation system that unites data from different sources (e.g. satellite systems, in-situ networks, field experiments, and new data platforms) with emerging data assimilation and modeling capabilities. This website deals with particulars of the IGWCO Theme. A general overview and history of the Global Water Cycle Theme may be found on the official IGOS-P Water Theme website. Responsibility for maintaining the various global observing systems lies within the scope of the diverse activities of the IGWCO Partners.

IGWCO Theme Objectives:

1) Guide decisions on water cycle observations for:

  • Monitoring climate variability and change;
  • Effective water management and sustainable development;
  • Resource development and environmental management applications;
  • Numerical weather, water forecasts, and intraseasonal to interannual climate predictions; and
  • Critical climate research.

2) Promote strategies for the acquisition, processing and distribution of data products needed for effective management of the world's water resources.











Introduction to IGWCO Community of Practice

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