Where there is little data: How to estimate design variables in poorly gauged basins

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General information

  1. New methods and tools of hydrological data collection: OS GIS and Remote Sensing. During this section you will learn how to use QGIS and GRASS software, to download and analyse two different freely available DEM, derive watershed, sub-basins, drainage network and basic morphometric properties of a basin at a specific outlet. You will also learn how to apply a Remote Sensing based Evapotranspiration model, using ILWIS.
  2. Introduction to the R package. During this session you will get familiar with the OS statistical package R, based on real-case hydrological examples.
  3. Hydrological variables: annual flows, flow duration curves, hydrological extremes, rainfall-runoff. During this session you will review and get into the depth of deriving the hydrological variables mentioned above, using R and some real case-studies of drainage basins in Italy.
  4. Geostatistics. During this session you will review in depth the concepts of Uni- and Bivariate variables, Linear Regression models, Stochastic processes, basics of Geostatistics, Variogram, Ordinary Kriging, Topological Kriging and apply them using R to some real case-studies of medium size basins in Italy 
  5. Index Value Methods (Example of regional analysis). During this session you will  review in depth the concepts of Frequency analysis of hydrological extremes with focus on floods, Estimation of the design-flood with possible approaches, At-site flood-frequency analysis, Regional flood frequency analysis, Setting-up a regional model, L-moments: definition, estimation and use; and apply them using R to some real case-studies.


  • Use of state of the art literature coupled with field experience from International professionals and academics.
  • Frontal lectures in class; individual exercises; group exercises; case study analysis.
  • This course will make use of open source -freely available- software only.
Learning outcome:

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:

  1. To apply the latest new Open Source GIS and Remote Sensing software and data for deriving hydro-geomorphological and hydro-meteorological information
  2. To apply an advanced theoretical understanding of selected hydrological variables: flow duration curves, hydrological extremes, mean annual flow
  3. To evaluate, select and apply different advanced statistical and geo-statistical methods for estimating hydrological variables in poorly gauged basins

The aim of the course is to provide theoretical understanding and practical methods to cope with the estimate of hydrological variables in poorly gauged basins. 

Contact Person: Paolo Paron +31152151736 (p.paron@unesco-ihe.org)


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0542 - Statistics


Venue: UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education
Delft, Netherlands



Course fee: € 1900


This is an advanced course designed for scientists, engineers and water managers involved in water resources management of poorly gauged basins.

Working knowledge of Hydrology, and Statistics. A basic knowledge of GIS and Remote Sensing is welcome. 

Application Procedure:

Deadline IHE application: 30 September 2017 - 23.59 (CET)

Grant Opportunities:

Discounts on the tuition fee of online and short courses apply to the following:

  • 30% for UNESCO-IHE alumni
  • 10% for UN family staff members
  • 10% for groups of 5 or more (provided that the course starts at the same time and a group application has been sent)

NFP, MSP and SIDS Fellowships

Most of our short courses are eligible for NFPMSP and SIDS Fellowships. Candidates from eligible countries are always encouraged to apply for one. 

You will need to have academic admission at UNESCO-IHE before you apply for an fellowship. Please be aware that the UNESCO-IHE application deadline and the fellowship application deadlines are different.

The UNESCO-IHE deadline is mentioned on each individual Short Course webpage, the fellowship deadlines are listed here:

You may register by filling out the online application form available at the webpage of the Short Course of your preference. Within 15 working days you will be notified about the outcome of your application. You will receive more details about how to apply for the fellowship when you are academically admitted. In case you would like to be nominated for a NFP/MSP fellowship, please note that you can apply for only one course per deadline.

For fellowships, other than NFP, MSP or SIDS, use Nuffic's grantfinder.

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