Historical data from hydrometric stations on Swiss watercourses and lakes can be ordered from the Hydrological Data Service.
Records, some of which go back to the 19th century, are available both on paper and in digital format. Data can be obtained on water levels, discharge, sediment transport, temperatures and various physical and chemical water properties.
The station lists provide you information on the status, measuring period, and measurement parameters of individual stations.
The directory covers all federal hydrometric gauging stations on surface waters for which digital data is available on water level, discharge or other parameters (e.g. water temperature, water chemical composition or turbidity). The column 'Operating status' indicates whether a station is currently in operation or discontinued. The column 'Waterbody type' can be used to filter for stations on lakes or rivers.
The data on surface area, mean altitude and glacial area refers in each case to the topographic catchment area. These figures were calculated using the geodataset 'Topographic catchment areas of Swiss waterbodies'. The figures for discontinued stations have been taken from past yearbooks, where available. They are therefore based on different sources.
In some cases, stations have been relocated over time. The station information always refers to the most recent location. In the case of major relocations, the old station has usually been discontinued and a new station put into operation under a new number. Where the difference between the catchment areas of the old and new stations allows, the data of the previous station has been placed in front of the time series of the new station (for discharge gauging stations, only the time series of the discharge). In such cases, both stations are listed in the station directory.
Composite stations (total stations) are a special case. Here, the discharge is measured at two (or more) individual stations: a main station and one or more secondary stations at a different location (e.g. power plant channel, secondary channel of a larger river). These stations are listed individually in the station directories.
The information on data availability refers to the period for which digital data is available at least as a temporal resolution of daily mean values. The federal hydrometric gauging stations for which only paper records are available can be found in the Directory of federal hydrometric gauging stations without digital data.
Recency and data quality levels ('release status')
A distinction is made between:
- Raw data: unverified data from the last days can be found as graphics on the Internet.
- Released provisional data, also called provisional data: verified but provisional digital data can usually be delivered after about one month. These data can also be retrieved in table form (pdf) via the Internet after about one month.
- Released validated data, also called definitive data: definitive data from the report year can usually be released in the following year.
Raw data is measurement data that has not been checked. Raw data is checked in a first test step and, if necessary, corrected. After this process, the measurement data is called 'released provisional data'. A new check is carried out a year later and the stage-discharge relations are verified by means of further measurements in the field. After this second check, corrections may be necessary again. Final corrected data is called 'released validated data' or also 'definitive data'.
In general data are provided free of charge.
Special orders, which involve significant research and processing, are billed on the basis of actual costs. Billing is based on the FOEN's fees ordinance (Gebührenverordnung BAFU) and the federal administration's general fees ordinance (Allgemeinen Gebührenverordnung).
We assist you in resolving your questions related to hydrological quantities. We advise you in the choice of stations and types of measurement, providing you the relevant data.
Please use the following form to place your order or send the necessary information to:
Data service Hydrology
Tel: +41 58 464 71 87
Please note that the processing of your request may take several days.
Ordering the data
Note: You will receive a confirmation after the form has been sent successfully. If this is not the case, please contact email@example.com directly with your order.
Last modification 26.09.2023