Isotope Hydrology Section (IHS) is responsible for the design and implementation of all activities of the IAEA's Water Resources Programme.

Introduction to Isotope Hydrology Section

The Isotope Hydrology Section (IHS) designs and implements the activities of the IAEA's Water Resources Programme, including undertaking various technical activities within the regular budget, such as Coordinated Research Projects (CRPs), publications, isotope data networks (GNIP, GNIR, MIBA) data analysis and technical meetings. Through the Technical Cooperation (TC) programme, technical support is provided to about 65 projects in developing Member States in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. Such technical support includes analytical services, field investigations and data evaluation, workshops and training courses, scientific visits and fellowships, provision of equipment and materials, etc. Building human capacity is a central goal of the Water Resources Programme.

The Isotope Hydrology Laboratory (IHL) is incorporated within the IHS, and aids Member States with analytical support and services, laboratory establishment and upgrading, as well as quality control. The laboratory is equipped with the analytical instruments required to evaluate isotopes in water samples, including a mass spectrometer for tritium-helium measurements.

Joint programmes are also implemented by the Section to develop partnerships — including an IAEA-UNESCO Joint International Isotopes in Hydrology Programme (JIIHP) — and cooperative work is undertaken with other major international and national partners, including the World Bank, Global Environmental Facility (GEF), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the French Research Institute for Development (IRD). Programme achievements and updates can be accessed online in the IAEA´s annual report. The IHS publishes a regular newsletter on the Section´s activities called Water & Environment News about twice a year, providing a detailed description of programme activities, which is also available online at The IHS currently has a team of 20 staff members, including nine laboratory staff, as well as consultants, interns and cost-free experts.

Responsible/Contact: Isotope Hydrology Section | Last update: 31 March 2010