Advancing the Implementation of the Latin American Flood and Drought Monitor at the National Level

The Latin American Flood and Drought Monitor, created by Princeton University’s Terrestrial Hydrology Research Group with assistance by ICIWaRM and UNESCO-IHP’s G-WADI program, is a regional product based on advanced land surface modeling driven by satellite and atmospheric model data. It generates indices for meteorological, agricultural and hydrological drought, and provides seven-day ensemble hydrological forecasts and seasonal forecasts of temperature, precipitation and standard precipitation indices. However, while the Monitor has many uses, its regional scale limits its utility at the national level, which requires greater resolution for both inputs and outputs.

Mr. Carlos Estévez, Director of the Chilean Water Authority, addresses the participants. Source: UNESCO-Santiago[/caption]

To begin to address this limitation, a meeting, hosted by the Chilean Water Authority (DGA), was held on 23-24 May 2016, in Santiago de Chile on “Advancing the Implementation of the Latin American Flood and Drought Monitor at the National Level”. This meeting represented the first major activity of the ENHANS (‘Enhancing Natural HAzards resilience iN South America’) project, funded by the Flemish-UNESCO Fund for Science.

Two case studies in pilot watersheds will be done to illustrate this potential — the Vilcanota Watershed of Peru and one of several candidates in Chile. In both cases, the spatial resolution will be increased and local historical datasets will be included for calibration and validation. In addition, monitoring station data will be assimilated in real time for better representation of local conditions. For the pilot countries involved, the monitor will be made available as a stand‐alone version for local installation.

ICIWaRM plans to contribute to these efforts by partially funding a post-doctoral researcher at Princeton University.