AbstractTranslating and incorporating climate information into decision-making and policy planning processes is challenging. In tailoring climate data to sector-specific user needs, climate services are seen as key mechanisms for facilitating this translation and incorporation, supporting climate change adaptation and sustainable development. The European water sector is especially in need of tailored climate data for informing climate-smart action and reducing human and economic impacts of climate change. This was the objective of the EU Horizon 2020 Project IMPREX (IMproving PRedictions and management of hydrological EXtremes). The paper shows how pre-identified shortcomings were addressed in the design of climate services in IMPREX, and how this process elucidated new research priorities for improving the effectiveness of climate services. The paper finds the use of participatory methods helped identify stakeholder needs, and advocates for the greater consideration of user and institutional capacity for integrating climate services into decision-making and policy planning processes.