River with village and hills in background
NRFA story

National River Flow Archive

Screenshot of the NRFA home pageThe National River Flow Archive (NRFA) is the UK's focal point for river flow data. The NRFA collates, quality controls, and archives hydrometric data from gauging station networks across the UK maintained by the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Department for Infrastructure - Rivers. There are over 1,600 gauging stations equating to 22 million flow values. The longest records stretch back to the late 19th Century.  Our river flow data are used to underpin much of the hydrological research and water resources development and management activity in the UK.  

The NRFA holds daily mean flow data, peak flow data and catchment average rainfall data, alongside a wealth of metadata, spatial information and photographs all gathered together in one place to provide context to the community when using the data.

These portals are intended to be companion products.

UK Benchmark Network

Example trends explorer screenshotThe UK Benchmark Network (UKBN) comprises a subset of gauging stations from the national hydrometric network that are most suited for identification and interpretation of long-term hydrological variability and change. Benchmark catchments can be considered reasonably free from human disturbances such as urbanisation, river engineering, and water abstractions, so are 'near-natural' and hence can be used for detection of climate-driven changes in river flow. These stations are available in the Flow Trend Explorer which enables exploration and evaluation of trends in peak flow and daily flow data.

UK Water Resources Portal

Screenshot of some stations in the UKWRPThe UK Water Resources Portal (UKWRP) is a unique web-based system for tracking the hydrological situation in near real-time. It offers dynamic, interactive situation monitoring, mapping, and plotting of a wide range of variables including rainfall, river flow, groundwater levels and soil moisture measurements (from COSMOS-UK). Near real-time river flows across England are fed in from the Environment Agency hydrological data service and Scotland from the SEPA Time Series Data Service released in 2022.

UK Hydrological Outlook

Example screenshot of a station on the UKHOPThe UK Hydrological Outlook provides an insight into future hydrological conditions across the UK. Specifically, it describes likely trajectories for river flows and groundwater levels on a monthly basis, with particular focus on the next three months. The UK Hydrological Outlooks Portal provides interactive, dynamic access to many of the outputs of the Outlook, which provide information on the likely trajectories of river flows a season or more ahead.

Enhanced Future Flows and Groundwater

Example station in the eFLaG portal screenshotThe Enhanced Future Flows and Groundwater (eFLaG) dataset is a set of nationally consistent climatological and hydrological projections based on UKCP18 that can be used by the water industry for water resources and drought planning amongst many other uses. The Enhanced Future Flows and Groundwater Portal is an interactive tool to explore the dataset and shows the climatological and hydrological projections for 200 NRFA river flow catchments until 2079.