Development Issues of hydrometeorological service discussed

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Tashkent, NOV 4 –  President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a meeting on the priority tasks of improving the activities of the domestic hydrometeorological service.

The hydrometeorological service is important for many areas, such as agriculture, energy, transport, ecology. But due to the lack of proper attention over the years, this area in Uzbekistan has lagged behind the times. Upper-air observations have not been conducted since 1995, which reduces the reliability of weather data. According to international standards, there should be 4,000 stations on the territory of our country, but in reality there are only 335.

The material and technical base of the Center for Hydrometeorological Service is outdated, and the economic profitability is low. In particular, over the past 9 months, the center was able to cover only 6 percent of expenses from its own income.

– Hydrometeorology is one of the areas important for ensuring our security. Today the main task is to change the quality of services in the system, – said Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

The meeting presented a presentation on the phased commercialization of the center’s services.

Today meteorological data is provided free of charge to 35 departments, including about 20 commercial organizations. The cost of services is lower than the cost and has not been revised for 15 years.

The head of state stressed the importance of revising prices and expanding the coverage of paid services.

The presence of many unused features is indicated. For example, next year, on the basis of a public-private partnership, one solar power plant will be built in Karmaninsky and Nurabad districts, and in 2022 – three solar and one wind power plants. These stations will use the services of the meteorological service to plan their power generation.

In addition, it is possible to provide paid services to Internet services for weather forecasting, clusters and foreign scientific institutions.

The Hydrometeorological Center stores observational data for the last 100 years. That’s 18 million sheets. The meeting set the task of fully digitizing this data.

The deficiencies in the material and technical support of the meteorological service are considered in detail. It was noted that only 14 out of 70 weather stations are automated. The weather forecast is made using 10-year-old software, which negatively affects the promptness of preparing data on weather and natural disasters. It was emphasized that the existing three weather radars – in Tashkent, Samarkand and Nukus – are not enough.

In this regard, it was instructed to install locators in Bukhara, Navoi, Surkhandarya and Namangan regions in the coming years, automate all meteorological stations, build new stations and posts. The implementation of these measures will improve the quality and efficiency of the meteorological service.

Uzhydromet is the regional center of the World Meteorological Organization. Stressing the importance of preserving this status, the head of state instructed to organize a regional hub in Samarkand in 2022 to collect, process and store backup data.

Meteorological data is one of the important factors in ensuring the efficiency of agriculture. Overseas enterprises of the agro-industrial complex are provided with more than 20 types of services such as determination of plant moisture, precipitation, soil temperature. In our country, there are only 9 such services. Agrometerological observations are carried out at 96 stations and posts, their number has increased by only 5 over the past 10 years, which is why the reliability of forecasts does not exceed 80-85 percent.

The Center for the Hydrometeorological Service was instructed to create additional agrometeorological posts in each region next year. The President noted the importance of installing agrometeorological stations and measuring instruments in Jizzakh and Kashkadarya regions within the framework of a grant from the World Food and Agriculture Organization, expanding the range of services to 14, and then introducing this experience in all regions. The task was to develop software for servicing farms and clusters online.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev paid special attention to the development of science and increasing the personnel potential of the sphere. It was pointed out the need to organize in the next academic year a faculty of hydrometeorology at the National University of Uzbekistan, on the basis of the Tashkent Hydrometeorological Technical School, to establish training and advanced training of modern mid-level specialists.

It was also instructed to increase the wages of workers in the sphere and introduce a system of bonuses for many years of experience.