Canadian Hydrological Models and Tools

Many of the below tools have source code and executables hosted on the CHyMS server maintained by the National Research Council

  • CRHM – the Cold Regions Hydrological Model
    HRU-based hydrological model specializing in cold regions processes and prairie/mountain hydrology, developed at the University of Saskatchewan
  • Green Kenue
    Software tool for accessing both CDCD (met data) and HYDAT (streamflow data) databases and visualizing data. Also provides support for modeling with HBV-EC, Watflood, and Raven models.
  • Hydrotel
    A spatially distributed hydrological model with physical bases specifically developed to facilitate the use of remote sensing and GIS data.
  • HydroGeoSphere
    A proprietary three-dimensional control-volume finite element simulator which is designed to simulate the entire terrestrial portion of the hydrologic cycle.
  • Mac-HBV
    Amended version of the HBV model developed at McMaster Univeristy
  • MESH
    A coupled land-surface and hydrological model developed by Environment Canada’s National Hydrological Research Centre
  • Raven
    Flexible open-source multi-platform hydrological modelling framework developed at the University of Waterloo
  • Streamflow Analysis and Assessment Software (SAAS)
    A windows-based tool for hydrograph analysis
  • Watflood
    Grid-based distributed hydrological model developed at the University of Waterloo
  • UBC Watershed Model
    Semi-distributed hydrological model for montane basins developed by Michael Quick at the University of British Columbia

The CSHS hydRology package

The CSHShydRology package, an R library for Canadian hydrologists, is under continual development by CSHS members. It is accessible here on the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN).

Existing Hydrology Online Utilities and R Packages

This compilation of R packages and online analysis tools for hydrology is limited to tools which are generally applicable to North American landscapes and data feeds. The list is not intended to be comprehensive.
Please note that presence in this list in no way constitutes an endorsement by the hydRology project, but we hope they might be found useful.

Data Scraping and Processing

  • HYDAT [R]
    A package for interfacing with the Canadian Hydrometric Data database (HYDAT) published by Water Survey of Canada.
  • MSCr [R]
    A package for downloading Meteorological Survey of Canada (ECCC) met data from their web server.
  • WeatherCan [online]
    An online interactive tool for downloading ECCC climate data and visualizing location and data coverage. Details for use found here
  • waterData [R]
    A CRAN package for importing U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS) daily hydrologic data from USGS web services.
  • tidyhydat [R]
    A rOpenSci package for interfacing with the Canadian Hydrometric Data database (HYDAT) from BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
  • weathercan R package [R]
    A package for searching for and downloading multiple years of historical ECCC weather data.

Streamflow Analysis

  • FlowScreen [R]
    A CRAN package with tools for assessing the quality of daily streamflow time series and for plotting and calculating many different streamflow metrics. Specifically accommodates WSC station data.
  • HydroStats [R]
    A CRAN package which calculates a suite of hydrologic indices for daily time series data that are widely used in hydrology and stream ecology.
  • ShinyCFA [online]
    An interactive online tool for accessing and exploring HYDAT streamflow data and performing flood frequency analysis. A basic overview for use can be found here
  • EflowStats [R]
    Hydrologic indicator statistics from daily flow data (U.S. Geological Survey supported)

Hydrologic Model Support

  • CRHMr [R]
    An R package which supports data import, analysis, and visualization of input and output files for the Cold Regions Hydrology Model.
  • EcohydRology [R]
    A CRAN package which provides access to a number of basic hydrologic calculations.
  • Evapotranspiration [R]
    A CRAN package which includes 21 different routines for estimating potential and actual evapotranspiration.
  • HydroGOF [R]
    A CRAN package for calculating a variety of goodness-of-fit metrics for comparing observed and modeled hydrographs.
  • HydroTSM [R]
    A CRAN package for time series management in hydrology.
  • RavenR [R]
    An CRAN R package which supports data import, analysis, and visualization of input and output files for the Raven Hydrological Framework.

Spatial Analysis / Drainage Analysis

  • BasinMaker
    A subbasin discretization toolkit for generating and simplifying topologically correct watershed discretizations with lakes.
  • RSAGA [R]
    Terrain and drainage analysis using the GIS tool SAGA (System for Automated Geoscientific Analyses) from the command line
  • Watersheds Package [R]
    A CRAN package for aggregation of watersheds and drainage analysis using vector datasets.

Stochastic Hydrology

  • CoSMoS [R]
    A tool for stochastic simulation of non-Gaussian time series for generating synthetic time series of rainfall, streamflow, or other environmental variables
    Multi-site stochastic generation of precipitation and temperature time series

Calibration, Sensitivity Analysis, and Uncertainty Analysis


  • R code [R]
    Some bits of code developed by Dan Moore, University of British Columbia

indicates explicit support for Canadian data and/or models