High-quality data supports science

High-quality data supports science

WMO supports Members in accessing proper technology and with respect to the generation of high-quality hydrological data and corresponding information products and services.

WMO Global Hydrological Data Centres take the lead in this area. They will benefit in this task from further developments in the Global Hydrometry Support Facility (HydroHub), especially its Innovation Hub and Quality Management Framework, the World Hydrological Cycle Observing System (WHYCOS), and the Meteorological, Climatological and Hydrological Database Management System (MCH). These are all essential for the wise management of water resources.

The future Global Data-processing and Forecasting System (GDPFS) and the upcoming operational phase of the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS) as well as the next generation of the WMO Information System (WIS) 2.0 will also advance the provision of high quality data support services. 

WMO Global Hydrological Data Centres

Three global hydrological data centres support WMO efforts to build a water value chain from data collection to decision. Their focus is on liaising with data providers, hosting database systems, facilitating easy access to the data users need and data rescue, while maintaining standards for data management and contributing to capacity building and developing expertise. These global data centres include:

  • the Global Runoff Data Centre (GRDC), hosted by the Federal Institute of Hydrology, Koblenz, Germany, which supports data collection and data management projects, disseminates information about national data holdings.
  • the  International Groundwater Resource Assessment Centre (IGRAC), hosted by UNESCO-IHE, Delft, the Netherlands, whcih supports efforts in groundwater monitoring and management as well as worldwide exchange of groundwater information and knowledge and capacity building through Information systems and various projects with partners. IGRAC specializes in regional- and transboundary-level assessment and monitoring of groundwater resources with a focus on managed aquifer recharge, groundwater governance and Small Island Developing States. IGRAC develops and maintains the Global Groundwater Monitoring Network (GGMN). 
  • the International Data Centre on Hydrology of Lakes and Reservoirs (HYDROLARE), hosted in the State Hydrological Institute, St Petersburg, Russian Federation, which establishes, develops and updates an international database on hydrological regime of lakes and reservoirs. It supplies data for scientific and educational purposes.

Global Hydrometry Support Facility (HydroHub)

The HydroHub


The HydroHub builds operational capacity in hydrometry and water monitoring, expands the base of hydrological data and exchange capabilities, and facilitates free and open data sharing. It does this through the development and application of innovative monitoring and database technologies, by supporting regional and local projects aimed at building sustainable hydrometeorological networks and freely accessible data, and by promoting the use of quality management principles.

World Hydrological Cycle Observing System (WHYCOS)

HYCOS projects


The World Hydrological Cycle Observing System (WHYCOS) aims to strengthen national capacities in basic observation, foster basin-wide, regional and international cooperation and promote the free exchange of hydrological data. Its ultimate goal is to support decision-making in water management through the provision of reliable data and information. WHYCOS is implemented through regional components called HYCOS projects. Since its formation in 1993, over 14 HYCOSs projects have been undertaken around the world.

Meteorological, Climatological and Hydrological Database Management System (MCH)

Hydrological data measuring, monitoring and management

MCH is an open source database management system developed by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Service (NMHS) of Mexico and adapted by the Programme of Cooperation for the Iberoamerican NMHSs, which transferred it to WMO in 2011. Originally developed in Spanish, the software has since been translated into English and French. MCH can be used on a single computer (stand alone configuration) or in a network configuration. It can connect to automatic stations and gather real time data. 

WMO makes MCH available to small NMHSs that do not have a database management system or any other solutions to digitize, store and process large amounts of data. NMHSs looking for a simple, customizable and license-free solution to store, analyze data and generate reports on large amount of meteorological, climatological and hydrological data can use MCH.