Hydrological observation networks
Data from hydrological observations may be used for a wide range of purposes in the utilization and management of water resources (e.g. in watercourse regulation and in flood protection), in water pollution control and in environmental research. Of increasing importance are the information services concerning the hydrological situation. There is a long tradition of international cooperation in the field of hydrology, and a part of the observation data is made available for the use of international programs of water resources monitoring and research.
The hydrological monitoring program is managed by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), which is responsible for keeping the monitoring networks' representativeness, for giving instructions concerning observations and measurements, for collecting the results into a database and for information services concerning the water situation. Regional centres for economic development, transport and the environment are responsible for the field work needed for maintaining the monitoring stations, but they also have their own regional monitoring programs and information services.
Many of the stations of the hydrological networks are maintained and paid by organizations other than the environmental administration. These stations are e.g. hydropower stations. The data from these stations are, however, delivered to the Finnish Environment Institute and stored in the hydrological information systems. Besides the observational data, hydrological models and forecasts are important sources of information about the hydrological situation.