SHF published from 1939 to 1969, the Hydrological Yearbook of France.
River flows data are essential for sustainable management of water resources to evaluate the impact of pollutants on aquatic ecosystems, to mitigate risks associated with floods and droughts, and to manage hydraulic structures. In France, most of the data are available from the HYDRO national database (http://hydro.eaufrance.fr). However, nearly 85 % of the hydrological time series start in the 1960s. Other sources of historical data exist on technical documents (handwritten, typewritten or printed text), including Hydrological Yearbooks published between 1939 and 1969 by the Société Hydrotechnique de France (S.H.F).
The Hydrological Yearbooks contain in particular a brief summary with details on the significant events of the year and a list of operating gauging stations. Tables of the 365 or 366 daily flows observed on a subset of stations are also included.
The 31 original Hydrological yearbooks provided by SHF have now been digitized by Irstea (center Lyon-Villeurbanne) and are freely available for download. The extraction of contained hydro-meteorological time series by optical character recognition is in progress. The historical time series will be eventually qualified and data banked.
This action of data rescue is carried out by the Hydrology-Hydraulics Research Unit (Irstea, center Lyon-Villeurbanne) with the assistance of IST Lyon–Villeurbanne (Scientific and Technical Information). This contribution to the research project MDR (development and application of a hydrological Distributed Model to the Rhone river basin) is partly supported by funding from the French Water Agency Rhône-Méditerranée-Corse, the French electricity producer Compagnie Nationale du Rhône and European FEDER (Présage 45537).
These directories have been digitized and can now be downloaded here.