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Established in 1988 to support the research on global and climate change, and integrated water resources management, the GRDC has been serving for more than twenty years successfully as a facilitator between the producers of hydrologic data and the international research community. The Centre acts as a contact point for international organisations, programmes and projects as well as research centres and universities.

GRDC ensures in a long-term perspective access to river discharge data and their use.

Currently the Global Runoff Database contains time series of daily and/or monthly river discharge data of nearly 9,000 stations from 160 countries, comprising around 370,000 station-years with an average time series length of about 41 years. The earliest data are from the year 1807, the most recent from the year 2010. The database is updated as soon as data are supplied by the national hydrological services, our primary data providers.

Temporal distribution of available discharge data in the GRDC database by year (number of stations per year represented in the GRDC database) Global Runoff Data Base, temporal distribution of available discharge dataTemporal distribution of available discharge data in the GRDC database by year (number of stations per year represented in the GRDC database)

GRDC operates specialised databases assembled for projects both on regional and global scale like the European Water Archive (EWA) of the Northern European FRIEND initiative of UNESCO-IHP, or the Arctic Runoff Database to support the ACSYS/CliC project of WMO-HWRP. Through its contribution to the Global Terrestrial Network of Hydrology (GTN-H), GRDC is linked to GEOSS, the Global Earth Observation System of Systems.

GRDC generates data products based on its data collection, for example the Long-term Mean Monthly Discharges and the Surface Freshwater Fluxes into the World's Oceans. We provide a number of GIS layers for generation of map products. All data, data products, and GIS layers can be obtained for non-commercial uses under the conditions of GRDC's data policy.

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