The artificial neural network (ANN) approach described in this paper for the synthesis of reservoir inflow series differs from the traditional approaches in synthetic hydrology in the sense that it belongs to a class of data-driven approaches as opposed to traditional model driven approaches. Most of the time series modelling procedures fall within the framework of multivariate autoregressive moving average (ARMA) models. Formal statistical modelling procedures suggest a fourstage iterative process, namely, model selection, model order identification, parameter estimation and diagnostic checks. Although a number of statistical tools are already available to follow such a modelling process, it is not an easy task, especially if higher order vector ARMA models are used. This paper investigates the use of artificial neural networks in the field of synthetic inflow generation. The various steps involved in the development of a neural network and a ultivariate autoregressive model for synthesis are presented. The application of both types of model for synthesizing monthly inflow records for two reservoir sites is explained. The performance of the neural network is compared with the statistical method of synthetic inflow generation. © 1995 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.