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International Hydrological Programme (IHP)

UNESCO’s interdisciplinary programme on fresh water IHP focuses on research, policy advice and training regarding

  • the impact of global change, including
    climate change, on water resources;
  • the global groundwater resources, their
    dynamics and usage;
  • the impact of land use on water resources, interactions between hydrology and aquatic ecosystems and their biota 
  • sustainable growth and security of human populations at the water basin scale, including prevention of conflicts on water use.

Since 1975, the International Hydrological Programme is the most important element of UNESCO’s programme on fresh water. It profits from the committed work of national committees in more than 160 countries.

The German contribution

© Baerchen (Flickr CC)

Germany has set up an interdisciplinary national committee, contributing both to UNESCO’s IHP and to the Hydrology and Water Resources Programme (HWRP) of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

The IHP/HWRP National Committee acts as a national forum for the hydrological sciences in Germany, interlinking the fresh water programmes of the UN with national research projects and operational hydrological services. The IHP/HWRP National Committee is a forum for the exchange of information, creating synergies at the interface between the national and international scales. The IHP/HWRP National Committee is supported in its work by a permanent secretariat located at the Federal Institute of Hydrology in Koblenz.

Activities focus on:

  • extreme events: flood forecasting and warning, low flows and droughts
  • transboundary cooperation within the International Commission on the Hydrology of the Rhine Basin (CHR),
  • transboundary cooperation of the 19 Danube countries within the framework of UNESCO’s IHP, in research projects and conferences
  • studies of the spatial and temporal variability of hydrological regimes within FRIEND North Europe (“Flow Regimes from International Experimental and Network Data”) and on issues of integrated management of catchments within HELP (Hydrology for Environment, Life and Policy).

Participation of the DUK

The German IHP/HWRP National Committee exists since the foundation of the IHP in 1975. DUK is a founding member of the IHP/HWRP National Committee and cooperates with it on several topics.

Federal Institute of Hydrology
P.O.Box 200253
56002 Koblenz, Germany
Tel: +49 261 1306 5313

An UNESCO-Category-II-institute on "Water Resources and Global Change" will be set up in Koblenz in 2010.



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