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Topic Hydrological foundations and data

The FOEN operates various monitoring networks and is thus in a position to provide current information, long-term data series and comprehensive overviews of discharge, water levels and water quality for rivers, lakes and groundwater bodies.


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Current and historical data and analyses are made available to public and private-sector customers. This data provides a basis for flood control, water protection and the use of water resources (drinking water supplies, hydropower generation).

Collection, analysis and assessment of hydrological and hydrogeological data involves the following steps:

  • Precise measurements: Water levels, discharge, temperature, suspended sediment, and other physical and chemical parameters are measured in surface waters and groundwater.
  • Data management: Data is checked, corrected and made available for further applications. This provides a basis for specific studies, modelling or mapping.
  • Information: Current data can be accessed online and long-term measurement series can be ordered by interested parties. Data can also be requested by SMS or ordered in print form. The results of surveys are published in the Hydrological Yearbook, in the Hydrological Atlas of Switzerland, or in the form of thematic maps.
  • Forecasts and alerts: The FOEN produces forecasts for the Rhine basin and operates stations that automatically transmit alerts to control centres when a predefined critical water level is reached.

Contact: hydrologie@bafu.admin.ch
Last updated on: 03.12.2013

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