Welcome to the EU WATCH website

The Global Water Cycle is an integral part of the Earth System. It plays a central role in global atmospheric circulations, controlling the global energy cycle (through latent heat) as well as the carbon, nutrient and sediment cycles. Globally, the supply of fresh water far exceeds human requirements. However, by the end of the 21st century, these requirements begin to approach the total available water. Of course, regionally, the water demand – for agriculture, and domestic and industrial use – already exceeds supply (more). 

This Integrated Project Water and Global Change (WATCH, 2007-2011), funded under the EU FP6, brought together the hydrological, water resources and climate communities to analyse, quantified an predicted the components of the current and future global water cycles and related water resources states; evaluated their uncertainties and clarified the overall vulnerability of global water resources related to the main societal and economic sectors (read more about the work).

18 of the world’s major river basins
18 of the world’s major river basins


The final report of the Water and Global Change programme (WATCH), an extensive analysis of the world’s water resources, was made available on October 13, 2011, significantly expanding our understanding of climate change and land use impacts on the global hydrological cycle. Read more

Read our Technical Reports

This project is co-ordinated by

Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
Wallingford, United Kingdom

Wageningen UR
Wageningen UR, Earth System Science and Climate Change group
Wageningen, the Netherlands

Importance of WATCH
Providing policy makers with a consistent and clear assesment of flows, floods and drougths for present and future scenario's.