The history of the State Hydrometeorological Service begins with the first meteorological observations carried out in Chisinau in 1844. The first hydrological post was organized after 30 years on the Nistru river in Tighina (1878). In the same period there began the first meteorological observations in five locations: Briceni (1887), Soroca (1890), Comrat (1892), Ploti (1894) and Tiraspol (1898).
At the end of the XX century there were 11 meteorological stationary posts and 6 hydrological posts. However the observations were not carried out regularly, being interrupted by the First and Second World Wars.
In October 1944, the Hydrometeorological Department of the Republic of Moldova was established to ensure regular hydrometeorological observations. Additionally, the Meteorology Office comprised of hydrological and meteorological forecasting groups was established within the Department.The Meteorological Office carried out a fruitful activity in defining the methodology used by the Central Forecasting Institute (Moscow) and adapted to the local conditions, as well as elaborated new methodologies. A valuable contribution was made by Mr. P. Panteleev, who was the head of the Office for a long period of time. At present, over 10 forecasting methods (downpour, squall, hailstone, storm, etc.) developed by him are used at local and regional levels. A part of these methods are widely used both in the Republic of Moldova and outside the country.
The Hydrological forecasting group has developed methods of hydrological forecasting for the Prut and Nistru rivers. In 1950 the first flood forecast was issued and the first flood discharge forecast was issued in 1953.
During the post-war period the reconstruction of old stations started, new stations were established and new observation types elaborated.
In 1946 the first radiosonde was launched in Chisinau.For a long time atmospheric sounding was made occasionally, but since the upper-air station was opened in 1957 it became regular.
In 1953 the Hydrological Balance Station was established and in 1957 the Hydrological Station in Dubasari basin was opened.
In 1954 observations on the radiation background have started.
For agricultural purposes the agrometeorological observation network was extended, particularly to determine available soil moisture (from 3 posts in 1947 to 24 post in 1963).
In the middle of 50’s the hydrometeorological network has reached its optimal allocation density.
The hydrometeorological network development had required continuous methodical guidance and several activities for hydrometeorological data generalization were carried out. For this purpose the Hydrometeorological Observatory was established in 1956 (reorganized in Hydrometeorological Centre in 1982). It had the goal to ensure methodical guidance of observation network, to provide equipment, develop new observation methods, generalize hydrometeorological data in monthly reports, yearbooks and guidelines, as well as to carry out scientific researches. The Observatory published several monographs: “Climate of the Moldovan SSR”, “Climate of Chisinau”, “Agroclimatic resources of the Moldovan SSR”, “Agroclimatic reference book of the Moldovan SSR”, “Natural meteorological hazards in Ukraine and Moldova” (in collaboration with the Geography Institute of the Moldovan Academy of Science).
Observations conducting, hydrometeorological data assessment and forecasts development were carried out by high qualified specialists, such as A. Krivopleas, P. Sineavschi, G. Ceban, G. Bevza, N. Cotova, V. Sivun, G. Lasse, T. Şevcun, D. Soloviova.
To the establishment and development of the Service actively contributed its directors – P. Agheev, A. Prihodico, E. Petrov, V. Petrov, A. Kotlearov, V. Sofroni, V. Cazac.
Environmental pollution monitoring in the Republic of Moldova has started in 1950, by studying the hydrochemical regime of two rivers at 5 posts.
At present the volume of these activities has considerably increased. Observations by 45 indicators are taken at 32 posts on 13 rivers and 3 basins. Since 1976 the surface water quality control by 5 hydrobiological indicators has been carried out. Observations on air pollution started in 1969 at 3 stationary posts in Chisinau. Initially the number of observed indices was 4 and they increased to 7 along with the posts. Air pollution forecasts are issued since 1979.
Use of chemical products in agriculture preconditioned the need for soil quality monitoring and pesticide control. The monitoring began in 1976 with establishment of the laboratories on soil pollution monitoring that nowadays are widely distributed on the whole territory of the Republic where the chemical products are used.
The State Hydrometeorological Service (SHS) became independent at the same time when the Republic of Moldova obtained its independence. In 1994 the Hydrometeorological Service of the Republic of Moldova joined the World Meteorological Organization, in 1993 it became member of the Intergovernmental Council for Hydrometeorology of the Commonwealth of Independent States and participated in a range of international programs and agreements (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Convention on Co-operation for the Protection and Sustainable Use of the River Danube, Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution, UN Convention to Combat Desertification).
Starting with 2001, in the frame of the governmental program “Modernization of the country – well-being of the people”, a perspective plan that stipulated development and strengthening of the State Hydrometeorological Service was elaborated. To achieve this goal, with the financial aid of the Government and National Ecological Fund, there were carried out several important activities for modernization and optimization of the SHS main production departments, including the National Observational Network. Automatic weather stations for all the meteorological posts, up-to-date equipment for the hydrological and hydrochemical posts were acquired.
Social and economical changes impelled the Service to conclude contracts with commercial organizations and economic agents – potential users of hydrometeorological information. Marketing studies are being carried out in order to increase the volume of services rendered and to find efficient and cost-effective tools to meet users’ demands and needs.