Hydrological data is essential for a wide variety of sectors, whether it be for use in watershed management, disaster preparedness and mitigation, infrastructure and industry development, urban planning, energy production, domestic water supply, health, agriculture, mining, tourism or environmental conservation.
In Fiji and Samoa, several of these sectors use hydrological data but there are others that could realize improved decision support from tailored hydrological information products. Furthermore, in much of the region, hydrological data collected by National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) do not always address the actual needs and requirements of both existing and potential data users. Conversely, potential data users are not always aware of what hydrological data is collected by NMHSs and what services it can support.
This situation can occur with unestablished connections to potential users, weak public-private collaborations and less than effective feedback processes. Consequently, hydrological data can often not be fit for some purposes, perhaps of unknown quality and/or lacking metadata, and thus with unrealized full value. And through not being fully valued, the result is low uptake and cost recovery of NMHSs’ services.
In view of this, optimization of the NMHSs’ service delivery and application of a user-oriented approach for the NMHSs’ operations are therefore crucial.
User-Provider Workshops in Fiji & Samoa
To help address service-delivery optimization challenges between NHMSs and hydrological information sectorial users, two User-Provider Workshops were held in Samoa and Fiji in November 2023.
The workshops were hosted by the Samoa Water Resources Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE-WRD) and the Fiji Meteorological Service Hydrology Division (FMS-H).