Advancements in hydrology proceeded slowly until the late 1800's when new ventures created a surge of interest and accomplishment. Progress waned again until the middle 20th century when an International Hydrological Decade was conceived, eventually receiving wide multinational support from governmental agencies and nongovernmental institutions. Organized by UNESCO, the Decade program was launched January 1, 1965. Participation included 107 nations, six United Nations agencies, and more than a dozen international scientific organizations. The initial program emphasized scientific research, and international cooperation; the second half of the Decade, emphasized technical assistance and technology transfer, largerly through education, training and demonstration. The success of the Decade led to the establishment of the International Hydrological Program, again under the aegis of UNESCO, to continue the work of the Decade indefinitely. The five major program activities, now involving about 90 countries and several international organizations, include: the scientific program, the promotion of education and training, the enhancement of information exchange, support of technical assistance, and the enlargement of regional cooperation. A significant amount of activity related to hydrological data networks and forecasting is carried on in an Operational Hydrology Programme by the WMO, chiefly through its Commission for Hydrology. Other international governmental organizations with a strong interest in water include the UN, the UN Development Programme, the FAO, the WHO, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN Environment Programme, the International Standardization Organization, and developmental institutions such as the World Bank. The specialized interests of researchers outside of the governmental structure, are met through association in various scientific and technical organizations which are world wide in scope and membership. Notwithstanding a sometimes bewildering variety of organizations, there certainly exists, for any nation, group, or individual, a demonstrated mechanism for almost any conceivable form of international cooperation in hydrology and water resources. ?? 1979 Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft.