By National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life Studies, Water Science and Technology Board, Committee on Challenges and Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences

ISBN-10: 0309222834

ISBN-13: 9780309222839

New learn possibilities to improve hydrologic sciences promise a greater knowing of the position of water within the Earth process which may support increase human welfare and the well-being of our surroundings. achieving this realizing would require either exploratory learn to raised know how the average setting capabilities, and problem-driven examine, to satisfy wishes reminiscent of flood security, offer of ingesting water, irrigation, and water pollutants. Collaboration between hydrologists, engineers, and scientists in different disciplines could be relevant to assembly the interdisciplinary study demanding situations define during this file. New technological functions in distant sensing, chemical research, computation, and hydrologic modeling can help scientists leverage new learn possibilities.

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Challenges and Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences THE HYDROLOGIC SCIENCES 17 Hydrologic science’s origins lie deep within the engineering applications community. Greeks and Romans, who were pioneering hydraulic engineers, built aqueducts. Herodotus, Plato, Aristotle, and Hippocrates theorized about the hydrologic cycle, and this understanding was advanced in the Renaissance and the years following. Yet it was because of water’s role in human affairs, primarily its availability and avoiding hazards, that the evolution of the science of hydrology followed the leadership of civil and agricultural engineers.

Can sufficient clean water be supplied where and when humans and natural ecosystems need it? Through a host of natural and human-induced changes, ecosystems have been altered extensively. How can scientists tell if freshwater ecosystems are broken and, when they are found to be broken, how can they be fixed? How much water does an ecosystem need? Arguably the most important advance in public health came toward the end of the 19th century when water contamination was recognized as the cause of widespread disease outbreaks such as cholera, and sanitation was introduced.

Eagleson, Professor Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who chaired the 1991 NRC Blue Book committee, on the origins of the Blue Book and his perspectives on where future opportunities lie. The talks that followed emphasized the vitality of hydrologic science at its disciplinary core as well as at the boundaries with atmospheric sciences, biogeochemistry, geomorphology, social sciences, and engineering. The talks also presented major breakthroughs in land-atmosphere interactions such as the effect of deforestation on hydrometeorological predictions, advances in generalized scaling theories of floods, the value of remote sensing data of precipitation, vegetation, and soil moisture in improving hydrologic modeling and prediction, new methodologies for characterizing hydrologic uncertainty, advances in data assimilation, advances in coupling geochemical and surfacegroundwater systems, the role of social sciences in hydrologic prediction, and the need to translate increased scientific understanding into better management of water resources systems.

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Challenges and Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences by National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life Studies, Water Science and Technology Board, Committee on Challenges and Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences


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