Hydrology Programme

UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP) founded in 1975 and implemented in programmatic time intervals or phases, is entering its eighth phase to be implemented during the period 2014 – 2021. IHP has evolved from an internationally coordinated hydrological research, education and capacity building programme into an encompassing holistic programme, including water resources management and governance. IHP facilitates an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to watershed and aquifer management, which incorporates the social dimension of water resources and promotes and develops international research in hydrological and freshwater sciences.  The new phase of IHP follows the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) era and envisions new challenges to be set in Rio+20. During its eighth phase, IHP aims to improve water security in response to local, regional, and global challenges.


The Arab region is the most water-scarce region of the world. Water management problems are already apparent in the region.  The key factors contributing to water resources vulnerability in the Arab Region are: Aridity Low rainfall High evaporation Uneven distribution of water resources Complexity of the hydro-political conditions The rapidly growing human population The deterioration of water quality  The accelerated demand for water  

Climate change may add new uncertainties and water challenges leading to more frequent and severe droughts and floods.

Several core areas have been identified for the Arab region including:

Building capacityFostering knowledge for the assessment and integrated management of water resourcesThe improvement of water information systems.

IHP activities in the Arab region are implemented under the following them


    Theme 1: Water-Related Disasters and Hydrological Change

    Theme 2: Groundwater in a Changing Environment

    Theme 3: Addressing Water Scarcity and Quality

    Theme 4: Water And Human Settlements Of The Future

    Theme 5: Ecohydrology, Engineering Harmony for a Sustainable World

    Theme 6: Water Education, Key for Water Security

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