A screengrab of the NRFA website homepage

A screengrab of the NRFA website homepage

Scientific challenge and project overview

The National River Flow Archive (NRFA) underpins hydrological research and water management activities in the UK, and delivers data and expertise to UK Government and international organisations. It acts as the UK’s focal point for river flow data.

The NRFA collates, quality controls, and archives hydrometric data from gauging station networks across the UK including the extensive networks operated by the Environment Agency (England), Natural Resources Wales, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Rivers Agency (Northern Ireland).

The NRFA has been hosted by CEH since 1982 and holds more than 50,000 station-years of river flow data. The archive provides daily average and peak flow data from over 1500 flow-measurement stations all around the country. This provides a unique, long-term perspective with direct applications for flood and drought management.

NRFA data underpin much of the hydrological research and water resources development and management activity in the UK. The NRFA services many of the UK’s international commitments related hydrometric data and works closely with its partners to improve the quality and availability of river flow data.

National Hydrological Monitoring Programme

Hosted alongside the NRFA, the National Hydrological Monitoring Programme (NHMP) aims to provide an authoritative voice on hydrological conditions throughout the UK. The Programme produces monthly hydrological summaries of the UK bringing together data on rainfall, river flows, groundwater levels and reservoir stocks and places them in an historical context. 

Further information

Our river flow data holdings can be explored and accessed via the NRFA website.