Improved Hydrologic Forecasting: Why and How

by William P. Henry, (M.ASCE), Manager; Industrial Projects, CH2M Hill, San Francisco, Calif.,

American Society of Civil Engineers, New York, NY
978-0-87262-203-6 (ISBN-13) | 0-87262-203-7 (ISBN-10), 1980, Soft Cover, Pg. 458

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Conference information: Engineering Foundation Conference on Improved Hydrologic Forecasting, Why and How | Pacific Grove, California, United States | March 25-30, 1979

Out of Print: Not available at ASCE Bookstore.

Document Type: Book - Proceedings


This conference was structured to achieve several purposes. High on the list was to share lessons that were learned during the drought of 1976 and 1977 with practicing hydrologists. During that drought, methods that were developed during wet periods became unsatisfactory. Project forecasting for hydropower, for irrigation supply and for municipal and industrial supply came under more scrutiny than ever before. Hydrologic forecasters were forced to improve their techniques and many of these improvements will be shared with you during the conference. A second purpose of the conference is to remind the practicing hydrologists of the wide variety of purposes for which the numbers he develops can be used. Too often the hydrologist sees only part of a project and does not recognize the full impact of his input. However, in a water resource project, the hydrologist has the overriding role in project sizing. His information is the basis for decisions that commit large amounts of capital. Because of this, the hydrologist must understand the need for accuracy in various forecasts. But accuracy alone is often not enough. Time is also an important factor, particularly in urban flooding problems. Sophisticated forecasts which may take weeks to prepare, will be useless when the response time of a community is in the neighborhood of 1 hour or less. As in other engineering disciplines, the analytical techniques used in hydrologic forecasting are constantly changing. We are fortunate to have with us during the week not only practicing hydrologists, but meteorologists and mathematical modellers of the rainfall-runoff process. This collection of talent allows us to have a full discussion of some of the emerging techniques in hydrologic forecasting that may and can be used to augment traditional analyses.

Subject Headings: Hydrology | Forecasting | Project management | Droughts | Water resources | Hydrologic models | Hydro power | Irrigation


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