Access to World-Wide HYPE

The HYPE model set-up to the land surface across the globe is called “World-Wide HYPE”. SMHI can choose to share this model (i.e. both source code and the input files) for appointed geographical domains under an Open license (CC BY 4.0) and some appointed user conditions. You can ask for permission to use part of the World-Wide HYPE and depending on your intended purpose, we can reach an agreement. When you download the files, you automatically agree to follow the User Conditions stated below.

The World-Wide HYPE

This HYPE model covers an area of 135 million km2, divided into some 131 300 catchments following the river networks. The average size of catchments is 1020 km2. Catchments of deserts and flood plains have larger areas (~4500 km2, and ~3500 km2, respectively), while catchments in step areas at high altitudes have in general smaller areas. The model uses a large number of Open databases and is calibrated against time-series of various sources of observations (both from in situ monitoring and Earth observations). The World-Wide HYPE model is continuously improved and updated in new model versions at SMHI.

How to obtain a piece of the World?

The World-Wide HYPE (i.e. both source code and the input-data files) for extracted geographical domains can be obtained by sending the form below. We may charge an extraction fee of € 4500 for delivery. As a user of the World-Wide HYPE model you commit to give feedback to SMHI about model evaluations, improvements or modifications of the model input-data files or the HYPE code.

Ask for a piece of the World-Wide HYPE (Form)

Send FEEDBACK based on experiences from using the World-Wide HYPE (Form)

User conditions for the World-Wide HYPE model

1      Background

The hydrological catchment model HYPE (Hydrological Predictions for the Environment) simulates water flow and substances on their way from precipitation through soil, river and lakes to the river outlet. The HYPE code is developed in an open source community (

HYPE has been applied in many different regions, e.g. Sweden, Europe, Niger and India. Recently, SMHI has also developed a HYPE-model for the whole world, called World Wide-HYPE.

Party A would like to explore, use and improve the HYPE model for local/regional purposes and party B would like to learn more about hydrology in different regions globally in order to improve the World Wide-HYPE. The Parties therefore enter into this Agreement, in order to specify rights and responsibilities.

2      Licensor

The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, with principal address: SE- 601 76 NORRKÖPING, SWEDEN, also referred to as “SMHI”.

3      License Conditions

3.1     The License

When downloading the World-Wide HYPE Model you are granted an Open model license: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).  

The License for the World-Wide HYPE Model is free of charge.

Your obligations according to the License includes:

  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor supports or endorses you or your use.
  • No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures to the original downloads that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits. Refined products may, however be distributed under other terms or restrictions.
3.2     Attribution

The Model shall be attributed to the Licensor.

In publications the Model should be referred to by pointing at: and by citing relevant scientific publications from SMHI, for instance:

Lindström, G., Pers, C.P., Rosberg, R., Strömqvist, J., and Arheimer, B. 2010. Development and test of the HYPE (Hydrological Predictions for the Environment) model – A water quality model for different spatial scales. Hydrology Research 41.3-4:295-319.

4      Feedback

As a user of the World-Wide HYPE Model you commit to give feed-back to the Licensor about model evaluations, improvements or modifications of the Model (or the HYPE code).

Re-purposed data

The World-Wide HYPE uses a number of input data files describing e.g. physiographic characteristics to account for spatial variability in hydrological processes within and between catchments. The model performance can be seen in Table 1. When setting up the World-Wide HYPE, data from original sources (table 2) is transformed to fit this new purpose of use (re-purposed) and then compiled into the formats requested by HYPE input-data files.

Table 1. Model performance for World-Wide HYPE

Model performance World-wide HYPE v1.3.1 - 1981-2012
Monthly dischargeCalibrationValidation
No. of gauging stations*24752863
* The stations used for calibration and validation have a minimum of 10 years of observations within the period 1981-2012. They also have less than 10 % relative difference between the modelled and published catchment area.

Table 2. Original data sources 

Data typeName of Data setProvider/Reference
Topography and routing"GWD-LR v1.2 [3arcsec]
-Flow direction
-Upstream area
-River width
Yamazaki et al., 2014
SRTM - Digital Elevation Database [3 arcsec}U.S. Geological Survey
HYDRO1K [30 arcsec]U.S. Geological Survey
Greenland Ice Mapping Project, GIMP[90m]Howat et al, 2015
IMO basin polygonsVeðurstofu Íslanda, 2016
Non- contributing Drainage areas AAFC Watersheds project - 2013Government Canada
WaterbodiesGlobal Lakes & Wetland Database, GLWDLehner & Döll, 2004
Global reservoir and Dam Database, GRanD v1.1Lehner et al. 2011
ESA CCI waterbodies [150m] v4.0ESA Climate Change Initiative - Land Cover project 2014
GWD-LR v1.2Yamazaki et al, 2014
LakeDepthsGlobal Lake Data base v2Kourzeneva, 2009
Forcing DataHydro-GFD 2.0Berg et al., 2018
Land cover, irrigation and crop typeESA CCI Land Cover, epoch 2010, v 1.6.1 [300m]ESA Climate Change Initiative - Land Cover project 2014
MIRCA2000Arendt et al., 2015
Global Map of Irrigation Areas, GMIASeibert et al., 2013
Randolph Glacier Inventory, RGI v 5.0Arendt et al., 2015
Greenland Glacier InventoryRastner et al, 2012
Discharge and catchment area Global Runoff Data Base, GRDBThe Global Runoff Data Centre, GRDC
European Water Archive, EWAThe Global Runoff Data Centre, GRDC
R-ArcticNet v 4.0University of New Hampshire, UNH
RIVDIS v1.1Vörösmarty et al., 1998
USGS-NWIS, national dataU.S. Geological Survey
HYDAT, national dataWSC (Water Survey of Canada)
Chinese Hydrology Data Project, CHDPHenck et al., 2011
Spain, national dataSpanish authorities
RESEAU HYDRO, CongoCICOS (International Commission for Congo-Ubangui-Sangha Basin)
ds553.2 Russian River Data Byron Bodo, 2000
Catchment areaSIEREMBoyer et al., 2006
La Plata basin regional dataCLARIS-project
CWC handbookCentral Water Commission, CWC
Hydrologic Reference Stations, national dataBOM (Bureau of Meteorology)
Red Hidrometrica SNHN 2013Servicio Nacional de Hidrgrafía Naval
Estacoes FluviometricaANA (Agencia Nacional de Aguas)
Red HidrometricaDGA (Direccion General de Aguas)
Catalogo Nacional de Estaciones de Monitoreo AmbientalIDEAM (Instituto de Hidrologia, Meteorologia y Estudios Ambientales)
Estaciones Hidrologicas Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia e Hidrologia
Peru, national dataSENAMHI (Servicio Nacional de Meteorologia e Hidologia del Peru)
Venezuela, national dataIGVSB (Instituto Geográfico de Venezuela Simon Bolivar)
Conabio 2008Instituto Mexicano de Tecnología del Agua/CONABIO
South Africa, national dataDepartment Water & Sanitation, Republic of South Africa
Mauritsius, national dataMauritsius Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities