Hydrological principles of climate change

The core topic of the NCCS Hydro-CH2018 focusses on the water resources and their future development. The objective is to supply the necessary fundamental hydrological principles for adaptation.

Bodensee Trockenheit
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Climate change affects the entire water cycle. The temporal and local availability of surface waters and groundwater changes, as do water quality and ecology. Many economic sectors are affected, including hydropower, water supply, urban drainage, flood protection, tourism, navigation and agriculture. Before measures to enable Switzerland to adapt to these changes can be formulated, the processes of the water cycle and their evolution must be better identified and understood. This requires both continuous monitoring of the changes in the water cycle and an understanding of the central physical and chemical processes and their interaction. The Hydro-CH2018 programme therefore investigates the fundamental hydrological principles of climate change in Switzerland, under the direction of the Hydrology Department of the FOEN and in collaboration with leading research institutions.


Hydro-CH2018 is developing an up-to-date knowledge base on the impact of climate change on the water cycle and water management. It will later be made available to specific target groups in the sectors affected, to support adaptation to climate change in the water sector.

The specific main themes of Hydro-CH2018:

  • Production of hydrological scenarios based on the new CH2018 climate scenarios

  • Climate-specific continued development and safeguarding of the hydrological monitoring

  • Enhanced understanding of the hydrological process

  • Provision of the fundamental scientific/technical principles necessary for the adaptation measures


Synthesis report

This report will provide a user-friendly synthesis of the latest body of knowledge in the field of hydrology and water management and recommendations for adaptation to climate change (to appear in 2020).

Research projects

By means of targeted research projects and based on the new CH2018 climate scenarios, existing knowledge deficits will be covered and a broad, up-to-date knowledge base will be created. Many Swiss research institutions are involved.

Water climate services

Users will be supplied with scientifically correct and intelligibly processed data and information on climate change and its consequences for water management on which to base their decisions, so that climate-induced risks can be identified and opportunities exploited (so-called climate services).



Flyer Hydrologie und Klimawandel (PDF, 692 kB, 07.02.2019)

The NCCS focus Hydro-CH2018 briefly explained.

Last modification 12.12.2018

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Federal Office for the Environment FOEN
Hydrology Division

Papiermühlestr. 172
3063 Ittigen


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