Spatial Processes in HYdrology (SPHY)

SPHY is a public domain model, that is easy to use, requires only precipitation and temperature as forcing, and can be applied for operational as well as strategic decision support. The SPHY model has been applied and tested in various studies ranging from real-time soil moisture predictions in flat lands, to operational reservoir inflow forecasting applications in mountainous catchments, and detailed climate change impact studies in the snow- and glacier-melt dominated regions.
Technology demonstrated in relevant environment.
Representative model or prototype system, which is well beyond that of TRL 5, is tested in a relevant environment. Represents a major step up in a technology’s demonstrated readiness. Examples include testing a prototype in a high-fidelity laboratory environment or in a simulated operational environment.
It has been tested and applied in several physiographical and hydroclimatic regions, ranging from the snow- and glacier dominated Himalayas, to river basins in African countries, to lowland catchments in the Netherlands to river deltas in Vietnam.

How does it work?

The SPHY model has been developed using the Python programming language and the PCRaster Dynamic Modelling Framework. The model can be downloaded from either the website ( or the Github repositor ( Several tutorials, manuals and case-studies have been developed to make the model accessible to a large user group worldwide. To make the model even more easier to use, we have developed a model interface (GUI) and pre-processor as plugins for QGIS. The model can be run using either these GUIs or through editing the model configuration file. Further details on how-to use and apply this tool can be found on the websites shown above.