The long-term sustainability of water is in doubt as freshwater resources are increasingly degraded and depleted, especially in developing and transitional economies. Increasing resource pressure will exacerbate water-related stress in the future.
Efforts to increase knowledge about runoff formation, water distribution as well as best use and management are often hampered by the lack of sufficient data. These include meteorological, hydrometeorological, agrometeorological and other related data. Even where available, stakeholders often are short of knowledge and technology on how to make opportune use of these data and knowledge.
On top of that, tools that monitor, model, inform and manage water supplies in tactical and strategic terms are often missing or too complex to operate. It leaves local stakeholders with the practice of informed guessing, e.g. through gambling on the rains. Finally, education and learning is mostly absent through which knowledge appropriation and technology diffusion could happen.
Suboptimal and unsustainable water outcomes result. They translate into water insecurity which has measurable adverse impacts on communities, their livelihoods and the environment as well as ecosystems.
Two examples of the global water resources monitoring challenges in the hydrometeorological domain are featured below. They show the need for a paradigm shift in the overall approach and are the core motivation for iMoMo.
NEEDS IDENTIFICATION: Traditional water monitoring and management is too often a story of failures and inefficient investments. This greatly hampers any effort towards effective decision-support for integrated water resources management, especially in places where resource scarcity, high variability in supplies and strong growth in water demand overlap with agency underfunding. The arid and semi-arid developing world regions rank here most prominently.
For addressing these issues most effectively, the needs-driven iMoMo approach starts with the identification of data and information gaps and emphasises co-design of solutions with all stakeholders involved.