European catchments and Rivers network system (Ecrins)

Prod-ID: DAT-120-en
Created 13 Jun 2012 Published 13 Jun 2012 Last modified 26 Apr 2018
3 min read
Version 1, Jun. 2012 - Ecrins is acronym for European catchments and Rivers network system. It is a geographical information system of the European hydrographical systems with a full topological information. Ecrins is a composite system made from the CCM developed by the JRC, Corine land Cover, WFD reporting elements, etc. It is organised from a layer of 181,071 “functional elementary catchments (FECs)” which average size is ~62 km2, fully connected with explicit identifier (ID) relationships and upstream area. Catchments are grouped as sub-basins, river basin districts (actual and functional to meet hydrographical continuity). The catchments are as well organised according to their sea shore of emptying to meet Marine Strategy delineations. Catchments are drained by 1,348,163 river segments, sorted as “main drains” (connecting together the FECs) and secondary drains (internal to a FEC). river segments mimic the natural drainage, however fulfilling the topological constraint of “0,1 or 2 upstreams, single or 0 downstream”. Each segment is populated with distance to the sea, to ease further processing. They are connected to elementary catchments and nodes documented with altitude. Segments are as well documented with a “dummy river code”, fully populated that earmark each segment with the most distant to the outlet in each drainage basin and, everywhere this has been possible, with a “true river” ID based on river naming. A layer of lakes and dams has been elaborated. Lakes polygons (70,847) are taken from Corine Land cover , WFD Art. 13 and in some cases, from CCM “water layer”. Lakes inlets and outlets are set with the segment ID and where relevant, the dams making the lake is documented. All lakes which depths and volume was found have been updated. Version 1.0 here presented still contain some topological errors (e.g. incorrect segment branching), because inaccurate geometry. They are noted and a correction procedure is underway.

European data

  • Personal Geodatabase file (Access)
  • Spatialite file
Ancillary data
  • Personal Geodatabase file (Access)
  • Spatialite file

GIS data

Aggregation catchments
  • Personal Geodatabase file (Access)
  • Spatialite file
  • Personal Geodatabase file (Access)
  • Spatialite file
  • Personal Geodatabase file (Access)
  • Spatialite file
  • Personal Geodatabase file (Access)
  • Spatialite file

Additional information

Gis data documentation
  • EEA Catchments and Rivers Network System ECRINS v1.1



Related content

Figures produced

Interactive maps produced

Water exploitation index plus (WEI+) for river basin districts (1990-2015) Water exploitation index plus (WEI+) for river basin districts (1990-2015) This interactive map allows users to explore changes over time in water abstraction by source and water use by sector at sub-basin or river basin scale. The WEI+ has been calculated as the quarterly average per river basin district, for the years 1990-2015, as defined in the European catchments and rivers network system (ECRINS). The ECRINS delineation of river basin districts slightly differs from that defined by Member States under the Water Framework Directive. The reason to use Ecrins delineation instead of WFD delineation is that Ecrins contains geo-spatial information on hydrographical systems of Europe with full topological information enabling flow estimation between upstream and downstream basins as well as integration of economic data collected at NUTS or country level. In addition to the WISE SoE – Water quantity database, a comprehensive manual data collection had to be performed by visiting to all open sources (Eurostat, OECD, FAO) including national statistical offices of the countries due to temporal and spatial gaps in the data on water abstraction. Moreover, a large part of stream flow data from LISFLOOD (Directorate-General Joint Research Centre) has also substantially been updated by JRC. Similarly, a comprehensive update with climatic parameters have been performed by EEA based on the E-OBS dataset. Therefore, the time series of the WEI+ presented in the current version would be slightly different for some basins compared to previous version.

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Filed under:
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100