tidyhydat v0.5.0


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Extract and Tidy Canadian 'Hydrometric' Data

Provides functions to access historical and real-time national 'hydrometric' data from Water Survey of Canada data sources (<http://dd.weather.gc.ca/hydrometric/csv/> and <http://collaboration.cmc.ec.gc.ca/cmc/hydrometrics/www/>) and then applies tidy data principles.



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This package is maintained by the Data Science and Analytics Branch of the British Columbia Ministry of Citizens’ Services.

What does tidyhydat do?

  • Provides functions (hy_*) that access hydrometric data from the HYDAT database, a national archive of Canadian hydrometric data and return tidy data.
  • Provides functions (realtime_*) that access Environment and Climate Change Canada’s real-time hydrometric data source.
  • Provides functions (search_*) that can search through the approximately 7000 stations in the database and aid in generating station vectors
  • Keep functions as simple as possible. For example, for daily flows, the hy_daily_flows() function queries the database, tidies the data and returns a tibble of daily flows.


You can install tidyhydat from CRAN:


To install the development version of the tidyhydat package, you need to install the remotes package then the tidyhydat package:

if(!requireNamespace("remotes")) install.packages("remotes")


A more thorough vignette can be found on the tidyhydat CRAN page.

When you install tidyhydat, several other packages will be installed as well. One of those packages, dplyr, is useful for data manipulations and is used regularly here. To use actually use dplyr in a session you must explicitly load it. A helpful dplyr tutorial can be found here.


HYDAT download

To use many of the functions in the tidyhydat package you will need to download a version of the HYDAT database, Environment and Climate Change Canada’s database of historical hydrometric data then tell R where to find the database. Conveniently tidyhydat does all this for you via:


This downloads (with your permission) the most recent version of HYDAT and then saves it in a location on your computer where tidyhydat’s function will look for it. Do be patient though as this can take a long time! To see where HYDAT was saved you can run hy_default_db(). Now that you have HYDAT downloaded and ready to go, you are all set to begin looking at Canadian hydrometric data.


To download real-time data using the datamart we can use approximately the same conventions discussed above. Using realtime_dd() we can easily select specific stations by supplying a station of interest:

realtime_dd(station_number = "08LG006")
#>   Queried on: 2019-12-02 18:59:32 (UTC)
#>   Date range: 2019-11-02 to 2019-12-02 
#> # A tibble: 17,482 x 8
#>    STATION_NUMBER PROV_TERR_STATE~ Date                Parameter Value Grade
#>    <chr>          <chr>            <dttm>              <chr>     <dbl> <chr>
#>  1 08LG006        BC               2019-11-02 08:00:00 Flow       13.6 <NA> 
#>  2 08LG006        BC               2019-11-02 08:05:00 Flow       13.6 <NA> 
#>  3 08LG006        BC               2019-11-02 08:10:00 Flow       13.6 <NA> 
#>  4 08LG006        BC               2019-11-02 08:15:00 Flow       13.6 <NA> 
#>  5 08LG006        BC               2019-11-02 08:20:00 Flow       13.6 <NA> 
#>  6 08LG006        BC               2019-11-02 08:25:00 Flow       13.6 <NA> 
#>  7 08LG006        BC               2019-11-02 08:30:00 Flow       13.6 <NA> 
#>  8 08LG006        BC               2019-11-02 08:35:00 Flow       13.6 <NA> 
#>  9 08LG006        BC               2019-11-02 08:40:00 Flow       13.6 <NA> 
#> 10 08LG006        BC               2019-11-02 08:45:00 Flow       13.6 <NA> 
#> # ... with 17,472 more rows, and 2 more variables: Symbol <chr>, Code <chr>


Plot methods are also provided to quickly visualize realtime data:

realtime_ex <- realtime_dd(station_number = "08LG006")


and also historical data:

hy_ex <- hy_daily_flows(station_number = "08LA001", start_date = "2013-01-01")


Getting Help or Reporting an Issue

To report bugs/issues/feature requests, please file an issue.

These are very welcome!

How to Contribute

If you would like to contribute to the package, please see our CONTRIBUTING guidelines.

Please note that this project is released with a Contributor Code of Conduct. By participating in this project you agree to abide by its terms.


Get citation information for tidyhydat in R by running:




Copyright 2017 Province of British Columbia

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the “License”); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at


Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an “AS IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

Functions in tidyhydat

Name Description
hy_plot This function is deprecated in favour of generic plot methods
hy_stations Extract station information from the HYDAT database
hy_stn_regulation Extract station regulation from the HYDAT database
hy_monthly_flows Extract monthly flows information from the HYDAT database
tidyeval Tidy eval helpers
hy_daily_levels Extract daily levels information from the HYDAT database
hy_stn_remarks Extract station remarks from HYDAT database
hy_monthly_levels Extract monthly levels information from the HYDAT database
tidyhydat-package tidyhydat: Extract and Tidy Canadian 'Hydrometric' Data
hy_stn_data_coll Extract station data collection from HYDAT database
hy_sed_daily_loads Extract daily sediment load information from the HYDAT database
hy_sed_daily_suscon Extract daily suspended sediment concentration information from the HYDAT database
hy_stn_data_range Extract station data range from HYDAT database
plot Plot historical and realtime data
hy_sed_monthly_suscon Extract monthly flows information from the HYDAT database
hy_sed_monthly_loads Extract monthly flows information from the HYDAT database
hy_stn_datum_conv Extract station datum conversions from HYDAT database
hy_dir Output OS-independent path to the HYDAT sqlite database
hy_sed_samples Extract instantaneous sediment sample information from the HYDAT database
hy_datum_list Extract datum list from HYDAT database
hy_sed_samples_psd Extract instantaneous sediment sample particle size distribution information from the HYDAT database
realtime_dd Download a tibble of realtime river data from the last 30 days from the Meteorological Service of Canada datamart
hy_stn_datum_unrelated Extract station datum unrelated from HYDAT database
hy_test_db Get the location of the HYDAT database
hy_stn_op_schedule Extract station operation schedule from HYDAT database
hy_version Extract version number from HYDAT database
realtime_plot Convenience function to plot realtime data
pull_station_number Convenience function to pull station number from tidyhydat functions
station_choice Function to chose a station based on consistent arguments for hydat functions.
hy_reg_office_list Extract regional office list from HYDAT database
hy_set_default_db Set the default database path
search_stn_name A search function for hydrometric station name or number
realtime_add_local_datetime Add local datetime column to realtime tibble
hy_src Open a connection to the HYDAT database
realtime_daily_mean Calculate daily means from higher resolution realtime data
realtime_stations Download a tibble of active realtime stations
reexports Objects exported from other packages
allstations All Canadian stations
hy_agency_list hy_agency_list function
hy_annual_stats Extract annual statistics information from the HYDAT database
hy_daily_flows Extract daily flows information from the HYDAT database
hy_daily Extract all daily water level and flow measurements
hy_data_symbols DATA SYMBOLS look-up table
hy_annual_instant_peaks Extract annual max/min instantaneous flows and water levels from HYDAT database
hy_data_types DATA TYPES look-up table
download_hydat Download and set the path to HYDAT
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Vignettes of tidyhydat

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License Apache License (== 2.0) | file LICENSE
URL https://docs.ropensci.org/tidyhydat/
BugReports https://github.com/ropensci/tidyhydat/issues
VignetteBuilder knitr
Encoding UTF-8
LazyData true
RoxygenNote 7.0.0
NeedsCompilation no
Packaged 2019-12-02 19:03:12 UTC; SALBERS
Repository CRAN
Date/Publication 2019-12-02 20:20:03 UTC

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