Worldwide research and application of isotope techniques is only possible with analytical facilities offering adequate precision. Since the late 1950s, IAEA's Isotope Hydrology Laboratory has played a pioneering role in refining and expanding such techniques.
The main activities of the laboratory include:
Isotope techniques offer proven methodologies relevant to water resources assessment and management. The costs involved in isotope investigations are modest compared to many other aspects of field investigations.
Human resources and analytical capabilities are being enhanced in both industrial and developing countries, often with support provided under the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme. Coordinated Research Programmes are also enabling research through contracts and research agreements in Member States. Such programmes encourage investigations on a variety of themes, such as arid zone hydrology, pollution, geothermal energy, lake dynamics, geohydrological modelling as well as specific problems such as the rise in water level of the Caspian Sea.