Hydrology literally means the study of water. This involves measuring and observing everything from rainfall to the chemical makeup of rivers. Hydrology can then provide information on floods, droughts, drinking water, erosion, and weather modelling.

Water cycles have evolved over long periods of time to deal with environmental pressures. They are not, however, adapted to deal with new threats such as climate change, population growth, pollution and land-use change. It is difficult to tell just how these pressures will affect complex water systems and the biodiversity that relies on them. 

CEH work on hydrology


Monitoring sites

Research Facilities

December 2014 - February 2015 rainfall as % of 1971-2000 average
Water resources for the last month remain looking healthy
Meteorological equipment
Long-term weather monitoring to develop understanding of hydrometeorological systems
CEH scientists carrying out restoration research at a lake in Scotland
CEH scientists will present at the Meeting in Granada, Spain
Tyne Bridge, Newcastle
The National River Flow Archive has released a new, freely available dataset of spatial reference units for hydrological purposes
January 2015 river flows.
Most of the UK saw more than average rainfall
Flooding in Chalgrove, Oxfordshire, February 2014.  Photo: Julia Lawrence
'Extraordinary' combination of types and severity of floods
Scottish Freshwater Group logo
Promoting awareness of current issues and research related to the freshwater environment in Scotland
Identifies unit hydrographs and component flows from rainfall, evaporation and streamflow data
Drought cover
Provides estimates of river flows in the UK
A digital data entry system to capture and store River Habitat Survey data in the field
Balbiania investiens species of algae. Photo: Dr Chris Carter
The list now contains about 5500 species of algae