38 Valuing Weather and Climate: Economic Assessment of Meteorological and Hydrological Services

Monday, 11 January 2016
Jeffrey K. Lazo, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and G. Anderson, H. Kootval, D. Kull, J. Clements, G. Fleming, T. Frei, D. Letson, B. Mills, A. Perrels, D. Rogers, C. Vaughan, J. W. Zillman, S. Olsson, and J. Carson

Many, if not all, National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) are under constant pressure to demonstrate that their investments and operational budgets pay off well for society. At the same time these agencies are tasked to provide an ever increasing volume and variety of information concerning current and future weather and climate at different resolutions and in a wide variety of combinations with other (impact related) observations. In order to provide adequate evidence of the societal net benefits of weather and climate service systems, NMHSs need to develop a practice of recurrent socioeconomic evaluation of their service portfolio, and of their investment and development needs. Since NMHSs rarely have in-house expertise on socioeconomic evaluation, external guidance in combination with an intra-sectoral learning and twinning process is called for. In support of such guidance the World Meteorological Organization in cooperation with the World Bank, and with additional support from USAID, engaged in the production of a guidebook for socio-economic benefit analysis of meteorological and hydrological services (WMO 2015).

The joint WMO, World Bank Group, and Climate Services Partnership book entitled "Valuing Weather and Climate: Economic Assessment of Meteorological and Hydrological Services" was launched at the 17th World Meteorological Congress on 28 May 2015. The book aims to help Met Services develop a basic understanding of economic valuation methods to enable them to successfully design and commission economic studies. The book also supports the use of results from socio-economic studies to improve service delivery through optimizing business methods and improving communication with key decision makers. The approach invites NMHSs to thoroughly consider the entire value chain from observation through to decisions made by end users of weather or climate services, and also extends beyond monetized benefits and costs. Particular attention is paid to the communication and the transparency of such evaluations. In this poster we provide an overview of the book, the weather information value chain, economic methods discussed in the book, a summary of benefit-cost studies demonstrating the economic value of NHMSs, and a summary of the case studies presented in the book. We also provide an overview on a series of three regional workshops that built on the book to inform NMHSs on the use of socio-economic benefits assessments.

References: WMO, WBG, GFDRR & USAID. 2015. Valuing Weather and Climate: Economic Assessment of Meteorological and Hydrological Services. World Meteorological Organization, World Bank Group, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, and United States Agency for International Development, WMO No. 1153, Geneva, Switzerland. Available online: https://www.gfdrr.org/sites/default/files/publication/SEB%20HYDROMET.pdf

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