Norway is a member of the Arctic-Hydrological Cycle Observing System of the WMO, and hydrological data collected by NVE on Svalbard are the most northerly situated data series available . At the same time, a comprehensive report on Svalbard hydrology concludes that current long-term monitoring is sparse, divided between different institutions and countries, and with significant dominance of short-term projects and only partial seasonal coverage. This project will bring together key Norwegian and international institutes involved in long-term river monitoring that includes water quantity and quality on Svalbard, and in a wider pan-Arctic setting, to create a roadmap towards a more comprehensive monitoring network. A crucial new step is to focus on concurrent monitoring of water quality and quantity parameters, to pool resources, gain synergy, broaden the scientific value and minimize environmental footprints.
The project will arrange a workshop where key institutions and researchers working on polar hydrology on Svalbard will be invited, along with international experts bringing in a pan-Arctic perspective and key stakeholders such as the Norwegian Environment Agency and representatives from Longyearbyen monicipality. The workshop will be designed to highlight the need for data, monitoring and models that links hydrology to the wider environmental impacts and feedbacks of the current dramatic 'polar amplification' of climate change, both for science and management purposes. The workshop will also address a road towards building a strong network between research stations and institutions working with hydrology on Svalbard, including setting the stage for a new SSG network proposal, proposals towards new scientific infrastructure as well as research projects under the next KLIMAFORSK call, and will also lay the foundations for a scientific paper as a result of the present proposal.