Overview / Acknowledgement / Citation


HydroSHEDS (Hydrological data and maps based on SHuttle Elevation Derivatives at multiple Scales) provides hydrographic information in a consistent and comprehensive format for regional and global-scale applications. HydroSHEDS offers a suite of geo-referenced data sets in raster and vector format, including stream networks, watershed boundaries, drainage directions, and ancillary data layers such as flow accumulations, distances, and river topology information.

  HydroSHEDS river network of Amazon Basin. Click image for larger version.

The goal of developing HydroSHEDS was to generate key data layers to support regional and global watershed analyses, hydrological modeling, and freshwater conservation planning at a quality, resolution and extent that has previously been unachievable. Available resolutions range from 3 arc-second (approx. 90 meters at the equator) to 5 minute (approx. 10 km at the equator) with seamless near-global extent.

HydroSHEDS has been developed by the Conservation Science Program of World Wildlife Fund (WWF), in partnership or collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS); the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT); The Nature Conservancy (TNC); McGill University, Montreal, Canada; the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia; and the Center for Environmental Systems Research (CESR), University of Kassel, Germany. Major funding for this project was provided to WWF by JohnsonDiversey, Inc. and Sealed Air Corporation.

HydroSHEDS data are free for non-commercial and commercial use. See License Agreement for specific restrictions and use requirements.


The following copyright statement must be displayed with, attached to or embodied in (in a reasonably prominent manner) the documentation or metadata of any Licensee Product or Program provided to an End User when utilizing the Licensed Materials:

This product [insert Licensee Derivative Product name] incorporates data from the HydroSHEDS database which is © World Wildlife Fund, Inc. (2006-2013) and has been used herein under license. WWF has not evaluated the data as altered and incorporated within [insert Licensee Derivative Product name], and therefore gives no warranty regarding its accuracy, completeness, currency or suitability for any particular purpose. Portions of the HydroSHEDS database incorporate data which are the intellectual property rights of © USGS (2006-2008), NASA (2000-2005), ESRI (1992-1998), CIAT (2004-2006), UNEP-WCMC (1993), WWF (2004), Commonwealth of Australia (2007), and Her Royal Majesty and the British Crown and are used under license. The HydroSHEDS database and more information are available at http://www.hydrosheds.org.


The scientific citation for the HydroSHEDS database is:

Lehner, B., Verdin, K., Jarvis, A. (2008): New global hydrography derived from spaceborne elevation data. Eos, Transactions, AGU, 89(10): 93-94.


We welcome comments about HydroSHEDS by email. Please be aware, however, that we may not be able to reply to individual requests due to limited capacities. We will update this webpage or the Technical Documentation to address frequently asked questions and topics.

©2017 World Wildlife Fund, Inc.