Skip to main content

A portal to access hydrology and climatology databases in Python

Project description




Access NWIS, HCDN 2009, NLCD, and SSEBop databases


Query data from any ArcGIS RESTful-, WMS-, and WFS-based services


Convert responses from PyGeoOGC’s supported web services to datasets


Access NLDI and WaterData web services for navigating the NHDPlus database


Access topographic data through the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) web service


Access the Daymet database for daily climate data

Hydrodata: Portal to hydrology and climatology data

PyPi Conda Version CodeCov Github Actions ReadTheDocs Binder

Downloads CodeFactor black pre-commit Zenodo

🚨 This package is under heavy development and breaking changes are likely to happen. 🚨

Why Hydrodata?

Hydrodata is a stack of Python libraries designed to aid in watershed analysis through web services. Currently, it only includes hydrology and climatology data within the US. Some of the major capabilities if Hydrodata are:

  • Easy access to many web services for subsetting data and returning them as masked xarrays or GeoDataFrames.

  • Splitting the requests into smaller chunks under-the-hood since web services limit the number of items per request. So the only bottleneck for subsetting the data is the local available memory.

  • Navigating and extracting data from the NHDPlus database using web services without downloading the whole database.

  • Cleaning up the vector NHDPlus data, fixing some common issues, and computing flow accumulation.

  • A URL inventory of some of the popular web services.

  • Many other utilities for manipulating the data and visualization.

You can visit examples webpage to see some example notebooks. You can also try using Hydrodata without installation it on you system by clicking on the binder badge below the Hydrodata banner. A Jupyter notebook instance with the Hydrodata software stack pre-installed will be launched in your web browser and you can start coding!

The full documentation can be found at


Hydrodata itself has three main modules; hydrodata, plot, and helpers. The hydrodata module provides access to the following web services:

  • NWIS for daily mean streamflow observations,

  • HCDN 2009 for identifying sites where human activity affects the natural flow of the watercourse,

  • NLCD 2016 for land cover/land use, imperviousness, and canopy data,

  • SSEBop for daily actual evapotranspiration, for both single pixel and gridded data.

Also, it has two other functions:

  • interactive_map: Interactive map for exploring NWIS stations within a bounding box.

  • cover_statistics: Compute categorical statistics of land use/land cover data.

The plot module includes two main functions:

  • signatures: Plot five hydrologic signature graphs

  • cover_legends: The official NLCD land cover legends for plotting a land cover dataset.

The helpers module include:

  • nlcd_helper: A roughness coefficients lookup table for each land cover type which is useful for overland flow routing among other applications.

  • nwis_error: A dataframe for finding information about NWIS requests’ errors.

Moreover, requests for additional databases or functionalities can be submitted via issue tracker.


You can install Hydrodata using pip after installing libgdal on your system (for example, in Ubuntu run sudo apt install libgdal-dev):

$ pip install hydrodata

Alternatively, Hydrodata can be installed from the conda-forge repository using Conda:

$ conda install -c conda-forge hydrodata


Hydrodata offers some limited analysis tools. It could be more useful for the watershed modeling community to integrate more data exploratory and analysis capabilities to the package. Additionally, adding support for more databases such as water quality, phenology, and water level, are very welcome. If you are interested please get in touch. You can find more information about contributing to Hydrodata at our Contributing webpage.


This package was created based on the audreyr/cookiecutter-pypackage project template.

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Source Distribution

hydrodata-0.7.0.tar.gz (6.2 MB view hashes)

Uploaded Source

Built Distribution

hydrodata-0.7.0-py2.py3-none-any.whl (18.6 kB view hashes)

Uploaded Python 2 Python 3

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing and Security Sponsor Datadog Datadog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Download Analytics Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page