WMO HydroHub Innovation Snapshot: Introduction to non-contact technologies for hydrometry (Issue No. 1 - July 2023)

25 July 2023

The WMO HydroHub is developing a series of Innovation Snapshots, informative documents on hydrometry-related topics, and WMO HydroHub activities. The first issue of the series introduces the use of non-contact technologies for hydrological measurements.

Business as usual is no longer an option if we want to seriously engage in poverty alleviation, the Sustainable Development Agenda for Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6), and robust climate change adaptation. These undertakings all require reliable, and accessible hydrological data for both the public and private sectors. To meet this need, many current hydrometric monitoring systems – especially in developing and least developed countries – need optimization of their efficiency and cost.

Currently, emerging innovative technologies and approaches, including non-contact technologies offer new opportunities to complement and enhance in-situ measurements and contribute to closing the hydrological data gap. Their operational uptake by National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) is however currently low due to insufficient collaboration between innovators, hydrometric services, and their user communities, insufficient translation of research into operational tools, and/or high costs of technologies and their ownership/operational costs.

To address this, the WMO HydroHub organizes Innovation Calls that aim at finding and operationalizing innovative technologies and approaches addressing the hydrometric challenges of NMHSs. This Innovation Snapshot explores emerging non-contact technologies for hydrometry, including some developed in the framework of the WMO HydroHub Second Innovation Call.

Downoald document



  • Nick van de Giesen - Van Kuffeler Chair, Delft University of Technology (Delft, Netherlands), WMO HydroHub Think Tank member
  • Salvador Peña Haro - Chief Technology Officer, Photrack AG (Zürich, Switzerland), WMO HydroHub Think Tank member
  • Sumit Sen - Associate Professor of Hydrology, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (India),  WMO HydroHub Think Tank member

Contributing Partners

  • David Hannah - Professor of Hydrology, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham (Birmingham, UK)
  • Denzil Daniel - Research Scholar, Department of Hydrology, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India
  • Frank Annor - CEO TAHMO (Nairobi, Kenya), Delft University of Technology (Delft, Netherlands)
  • Hessel Winsemius - CEO Rainbow Sensing (The Hague, Netherlands)
  • Kieran Khamis - Lecturer in Physical Geography, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham (Birmingham, UK)
  • Rajesh Kumar - Director at Central Water Commission, Government of India
  • Wouter Buytaert - Professor in Hydrology and Water Resources, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Imperial College London (London, UK)