HYCOS User Phase, a project under the Hi-RISK Initiative, recognizes that water is not only the single most important resource for life but also a potential source of catastrophic hazards. With climate change, the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events are likely to increase, putting people in flood-prone areas at risk. These vulnerabilities are shared across national boundaries. For example, the 2010 floods in northern Pakistan affected an estimated 20.2 million people, and the 2017 floods in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal killed over 1,000 people and caused economic losses estimated at millions of dollars.
HYCOS User Phase builds on work from 2010 to 2016. During this period, it supported the establishment of 38 hydrometeorological stations across Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan, along with regional and national flood information systems based on near real-time data, to avoid loss of lives, livelihoods, and assets in flood vulnerable communities in the Indus, Gangetic and Brahmaputra basins due to riverine floods.
Although there have been significant advances in the deployment of technologies and tools for disaster risk reduction, including early warning systems, one of the biggest challenges is to ensure that they benefit the end users – flood vulnerable populations, including children, women, elderly, and the differently abled.
HYCOS User Phase focuses on reaching end users with early warnings, flood outlooks, and other knowledge products to address their needs for disaster preparedness and response.
The HYCOS User Phase has three major action areas: