Flood/Drought Prediction

In the same way that image-conscious popular culture is fascinated with the gross extremes of weight, hydrologists are fascinated by the over-abundance and the paucity of water. Of course, this fascination comes from a natural penchant for all things water, as well as from a professional responsibility.

Hurricane Katrina's devastating effects brought the importance of flood prediction, prevention, and relief into national focus. The virtual destruction of one of the United States' most identifiable and beloved cultural sites hit close to home (and for many, hit home directly), and flood control is now a paramount concern. Hydrologists are stepping up to the plate to protect fellow countrymen and citizens of the globe.

Hydrologists understand the interaction between water and land, and the effects of rainfall and accumulation. Therefore there is a great deal of focus on the flood in hydrology and in conceptualizing methods to minimize flood damage.

Conversely, drought is another major area of study for hydrologists. If hydrologists are able to forecast drought, it will be possible to bring in additional water sources to supply drought relief. Hydrologists watch for the symptoms of a coming drought and monitor rainfall and other atmospheric conditions.