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The SANDRE code , named after the SANDRE ( S ervice d ' A dministration N ationale des D onnées et R éférentiels sur l' E au ) database of water bodies is the identification number that can be used to uniquely identify every body of water in France . It was defined for each individual body of water in accordance with state requirements and serves to standardize data management.

Territory definitions

The key formation for the hydrographic areas is based on the following catchment areas in France:

Hydrographic basin Hydrographic region
Artois - Picardy D = Rhine tributaries
E = coastal rivers
Rhine-Meuse A = Rhine
B = Meuse
Seine-Normandy F = Seine (lower course) including Marne
G = coastal rivers of Upper Normandy
H = Seine (upper course)
I = coastal rivers of Lower Normandy
Loire Brittany J = Brittany
K, L, M = Loire
N = coastal rivers south of the Loire
Adour-Garonne O = Garonne
P = Dordogne
Q = Adour
R = Charente
S = coastal rivers
Rhône-Méditérannée U = Saône
V = Rhone
W = Isère
X = Durance
S = coastal rivers
Corsica Y
Guadeloupe 1
Martinique 2
French Guiana 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Reunion 4th

The Hydrographic regions are due to the smaller-scale sub-catchments further divided into

  • Hydrographic sectors (e.g. X1 ),
  • Hydrographic subsectors (e.g. X12 ) and
  • Hydrographic zones (e.g. X125 ).

Structure of the code

The SANDRE code consists of eight digits, consisting of letters, numbers or the character “-”.

  • Digit 1: Hydrographic Region
    • Positions 1–2: Hydrographic Sector
      • Positions 1–3: Hydrographic subsector
        • Digit 1–4: Hydrographic Zone
  • Digit 5–7: serial number
  • Digit 8: Type of water

If a body of water corresponds exactly to a hydrographic zone, this is included in its code; if it flows through several zones, it is given the sign “-” at the ambiguous place.

The body of water describes whether it is a

  • Natural flowing water (code 0),
  • a natural branch (code 1)
  • an artificial waterway ( canal ) (code 2) or
  • a still water (code 3).


  • River Viveronne has the code P7370500 . The number can be broken down as follows:
    • it runs only in the hydrographic zone: P737
    • the serial number is: 050
    • Key for the water type: 0 (natural flowing water)
  • River Dronne has the code P7-0250 . The number can be broken down as follows:
    • it runs in the hydrographic zones: P746, P744, P742, P734, P731, P730, P716, P715, P714, P711, P710, P702, P701, and P700. It thus crosses several zones and sub-sectors, but remains in sector P7. This is taken over in the code, the ambiguous places are given the character "-".
    • the serial number is: 025
    • Key for the water type: 0 (natural flowing water)
  • The Garonne river has the code O --- 0000 . The number can be broken down as follows:
    • it runs a large number of hydrographic zones that only the hydrographic region O has in common. This is taken over into the code, the ambiguous places are given the character "-".
    • the serial number is: 000
    • Key for the water type: 0 (natural flowing water)
  • The rivers Loire ( ---- 0000 ) and Seine ( ---- 0010 ), like many canals, cannot even be clearly assigned to a hydrographic region and are given the symbol "-" at this point.

Database query

The search for rivers can be done at It allows rivers to be found by name ( toponym ) or SANDRE code.

The following data is displayed:

  • Surname
  • SANDRE code
  • Status and update date
  • length
  • Source and mouth coordinates
  • crossed regions, departments and municipal areas
  • crossed hydrographic zones
  • alternative names of the water
  • Size of the catchment area
  • Drainage path
  • Tributaries

There is also a zoomable cartographic display.

Still waters cannot be queried at the moment.

See also

Web links


  • Sécretariat d'Administration Nationale des Données Relatives à l'Eau: Les règles de la codification hydrographique (Version 2004-1) ; download (PDF; 934 kB)