The hydrological directories of France were published from 1939 to 1969 by the SHF.

Knowledge of river flows is essential to manage water resources in a sustainable manner, assess the impacts of pollutant and toxic discharges on aquatic ecosystems, reduce the risks associated with the water cycle, floods and also droughts, maintain and manage developments in the riverbed.

This knowledge is provided mainly by the hydrometric network which feeds the HYDRO database ( For the majority (almost 85%), the present hydrological series with bank accounts began in the 1960s. Other sources of data exist in paper form, including in particular the reports of the Great Hydraulic Forces and the Hydrological Directories of the Société Hydrotechnique de France .

These Hydrological Yearbooks published between 1939 and 1969 by the SHF contain in particular a history of the past twelve months with significant events, a free contribution on French hydrology, a list of stations in operation and summary tables of 365 or 366 daily flows observed on a subset of stations.

They were digitized thanks to the joint will of Irstea (Lyon-Villeurbanne center) and the SHF to bring these documents to the attention of the hydrological community and to make available the digital series they contain.

This operation was managed by the Hydrology-Hydraulic Research Unit with the help of IST Lyon-Villeurbanne. It is part of a research project “Distributed Modeling of the Rhône”, co-financed by the Water Agency Rhône-Méditerranée-Corse, the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône and the European funds FEDER (operation Présage 45537).

For more details on this work of digitizing directories, you can consult the article published in La Houille Blanche in 2015: Le Gros et al. “The hydrological directories of the Société Hydrotechnique de France: a source of heritage information for the knowledge of hydrology in France”.

You can download the Directories in Pdf format

You can download the chronicles of daily flows from 54 stations: period 1939-1969
(text format HYDRO2)

This is data from the directories of the time and a scanning operation. It is advisable to check the relevance of these debits in the light of current information. SHF or INRAE cannot be held responsible for this data.