Doctoral thesis defense of Ms. Abby Daniela Ortega Sandoval, supervised by PD Dr. Luna Bharati

Ms. Abby Daniela Ortega Sandoval defended her thesis on August 28, 2023 at the University of Bonn. Ms. Sandoval was supervised by PD Dr. Luna Bharati from ICWRGC since 2019 and completed her thesis at the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University Bonn.

Ms. Abby Daniela Ortega Sandoval at her thesis defense with supervisor PD Dr. Luna Bharati and members of the thesis defense committee

Abby Daniela Ortega Sandoval at the Defense of her doctoral thesis with supervisor PD Dr. Luna Bharati and members of the examination commission Prof. Dr. Joachim von Braun, Prof. Dr. Rodriguez Sánchez, Prof. Dr. Christian Borgemeister and Prof. Dr. Mathias Becker.

Ms. Abby Daniela Ortega Sandoval at her thesis defense with supervisor PD Dr. Luna Bharati

Abby Daniela Ortega Sandoval with her supervisor PD Dr. Luna Bharati.

The title of her thesis was “Qualitative and quantitative assessment of sustainable urban stormwater management in Bogotá, Colombia”.

Three research articles have been published from the PhD work:

    1. A. D. Ortega Sandoval, J. P. Rodríguez Sánchez & L. Bharati (2023): A transdisciplinary approach for assessing the potential feasibility of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems: case study, Bogotá, Colombia. Urban Water Journal 20(8): 1081-1094.
    2. Ortega, A. D., Rodríguez, J. P., & Bharati, L. (2023). Building flood-resilient cities by promoting SUDS adoption: A multi-sector analysis of barriers and benefits in Bogotá, Colombia. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 88, 103621.
    3. Ortega, A. D., Sörensen, J., Rodríguez, J. P., & Bharati, L. (2023). Hydrologic-hydraulic assessment of SUDS control capacity using different modeling approaches: A case study in Bogotá, Colombia. Water Science and Technology 87 (12): 3124–3145.

WMO: Progress on Hydrology at 19th Congress

The 19th Congress (Cg-19) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) was held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 22 May to 4 June. Harald Köthe, Director of ICWRGC as well as acting German hydrological advisor to WMO, and Ulrich Looser, Head of the Global Runoff Data Centre (GRDC), represented the German delegation in the third Hydrological Assembly of WMO with 294 participants from 121 countries.

Harald Köthe and Dr. Ulrich Looser at the 19th WMO Congress

Harald Köthe, Director ICWRGC, and Dr. Ulrich Looser, Head of the Global Runoff Data Centre, at the 19th WMO Congress.

Based on the results of the UN2023 Water Conference in March, the WMO has set itself the priority goal of taking the lead in promoting the “Early Warning for All” initiative. This initiative aims at establishing warning systems for the entire world population for dangerous weather and climate events as well as extreme hydrological events by 2027.

Within this framework, the following progress was agreed for hydrology at the 19th WMO Congress:

  • “Accelerate the development of integrated systems and services to address global risks associated with irreversible changes in the cryosphere, downstream impacts on water resources and sea level rise” was added as a new goal to the WMO Strategic Plan. It includes strong hydrology components and contributions (Resolution 2 Cg-19 and Resolution 6 Cg-19).
  • The terms of reference of the Hydrological Coordination Commission were revised (Resolution 7 EC-77) and a new function of Hydrological Advisor to the President of WMO (exercised by the Chair of the Hydrological Assembly) was introduced (Resolution 8 Cg-19).
  • With the same resolution (Res.8 Cg-19), the Congress requested the Executive Committee to submit proposals to increase the contribution of hydrologists in the Governing Board and subsidiary bodies of WMO. These proposals will be considered at the next Congress.
  • The process for reviewing and revising the Hydrology Action Plan was established ( < (Resolution 7 Cg-19).
  • The WMO hydrological database (WHOS) was recognised as part of the WMO Information System (WIS 2.0). Member countries were invited to contribute to its expansion. The significant contribution of the Global Hydrological Cycle Observing System (WHYCOS), the Global Hydrometric Support Centre (HydroHub), and the Global Runoff Data Centre (GRDC) was reaffirmed (Resolution 4.2(4)/2 Cg-19).
  • The extension of the WMO HelpDesk to include the Associated Programme for Flood Management and the Integrated Programme for Drought Management was agreed in order to complete the available information for water management (Resolution 19 Cg-19).
  • Regional plans for the implementation of the WMO Global Hydrological State of Resources (HydroSOS) system were approved (Resolution 9 Cg-19).
  • The establishment of hydrological service centres within the WMO Integrated Processing and Prediction System (WIPPS) created new opportunities for national hydrological institutions.
  • The criteria for recognition of 75+ and 100-year time series stations were adopted.
  • The criteria for recognition of 75+ and 100-year time series stations were adopted
  • The latest developments and benefits of artificial intelligence in operational hydrology, interactions with the private sector and the latest hydrological research were part of the agenda at the Congress and Hydrological Assembly.
  • A declaration on gender equality and women’s empowerment was read at the Hydrological Assembly and the Congress Gender Day to drive change in the next 4 years

ICWRGC and BfG support these developments by means of their global water databases (GRDC, GWDC and ISMN) as well as DWD’s GPPC through research products with German scientists.

Related links:

  1. Documents of the 3rd Hydrological Assembly
  2. Adopted documents of the 19th WMO Congress 
  3. WMO Action Plan Hydrology 2022-2030 

Doctoral thesis defense of Dr. Luna Bharati’s PhD student

Dipesh Chapagain defended his doctoral thesis at the Center for Development Research (ZEF) of Bonn University on 07. August 2023. He was supervised by PD Dr. Luna Bharati from ICWRGC.

Dipesh Chapaign at the Defense of his doctoral thesis with supervisor Dr. Bharati and members of the examination commission Prof. Christian Borgemeister and Prof. Eike Lüdeling from Uni Bonn.

Dipesh Chapaign at the Defense of his doctoral thesis with supervisor PD Dr. Luna Bharati and members of the examination commission Prof. Christian Borgemeister and Prof. Eike Lüdeling from Uni Bonn.

Dipesh Chapaign at the Defense of his doctoral thesis with supervisor Dr. Bharati

Dipesh Chapagain with his advisor PD Dr. Luna Bharati.

The title of the PhD thesis is:

Detection and Attribution of Spatiotemporal Trends of Climatic Disaster Mortality in Nepal.

Three journal articles were prepared as part of the PhD work:

  1. Chapagain, D., Bharati, L., Mechler, R., KC, S., Pflug, G., & Borgemeister, C. (2023). Understanding the role of climate change in disaster mortality: Empirical evidence from the Global South. [In Review]. Available at SSRN: or
  2. Chapagain, D., Bharati, L., & Borgemeister, C. (2022). Declining vulnerability but rising impacts: the trends of climatic disasters in Nepal. Regional Environmental Change, 22(2), 55.
  3. Chapagain, D., Dhaubanjar, S. & Bharati, L. (2021). Unpacking future climate extremes and their sectoral implications in western Nepal. Climatic Change 168, 8.

New Staff Interview – Tinh Vu

Mitarbeiterin des ICWRGC Tinh Vu

Could you please explain your scientific background in a couple of words?
For more than 15 years, I have been working continuously in the fields of hydrology and water management in different governmental organizations and universities in Vietnam, South-East Asian countries and Germany. As a lecturer, I worked for 5 years at Danang University for Science and Technology in Vietnam. I gave lectures in hydrology, river training and coastal engineering, and participated in various research projects in the field of water resources. During this time, I joined the Network for Sustainable Hydropower Development in the Mekong river countries (NSHD-M) as a stakeholder and trainer to conduct workshops and trainings for local stakeholders in Vietnam. This network was organized by the MRC-GIZ Cooperation Programme (2011-2015). I came to Germany in autumn 2015 for my PhD at Kiel University (CAU) and have been working as a scientific researcher since early 2020 at the Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG, Germany).

What made you apply at ICWRGC?
The key mandates of ICWRGC, i.e. a focus on research, education and promoting cooperation between (inter-)national experts, stakeholders and scientist, as well as supporting many operational hydrological services. They exactly match my qualifications. ICWRGC’s topics also cover my research interests, where hydrological alteration under global changes is my main study subject. What I also bring into the ICWRGC team is a strong international background as well as my longtime working experience in interdisciplinary teams, not only in scientific fields but also in terms of practical aspects.

What are your main responsibilities at ICWRGC?
I am involved in a joint project funded by BMBF to develop an operational, multi-sectoral global drought hazard forecasting system (OUTLAST) and responsible for the coordination between WMO, German project partners and stakeholders from Lake Victoria Basin (Africa) and Central Asia. I establish an automated workflow and develop a concept to enable long-term operationalization and implementation of a drought hazard forecasting system. My tasks also include organizing workshops in local regions and at the BfG to present and evaluate the developed product from OUTLAST.

What do you expect from your time at ICWRGC?
During my time here, I hope to sharpen my professional skills (building concept and co-design for long-term operational inter-institute global models) and strengthen other coordination skills (e.g. stakeholder dialogue, networking with other (inter-)national organizations such as UN, WMO, GIZ, GWP…). These will complete my profile and expand my capacity in terms of interdisciplinary collaboration under global changes.