What Are The Duties Of A Hydrologist?

A hydrologist’s primary role is to understand how and why water moves throughout our planet. Hydrologists analyze precipitation, rivers, groundwater levels, surface water, and evaporation. It is the responsibility of the hydrologist to understand how water manipulates the environment and how alterations to the environment affect the quantity and quality of water. Hydrologists utilize their expertise to solve issues regarding water accessibility and quality. It is the duty of the hydrologist to perform their job in the field, exploring rivers, lakes, oceans, and streams to collect data and samples.

Hydrologists inspect water-monitoring equipment and analyze hydrological data. Hydrologists create reports on their findings, write detailed notes on the status of hydrological areas, and travel to international locations. Many hydrologists work abroad and in remote locations to find and observe water sources.

Hydrologists measure volume and stream flow of bodies of water such as oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams. The collections of soil and water samples are necessary for a hydrologist’s work, as they need to test and analyze pH and water pollution levels. Hydrologists use a variety of laboratory testing equipment to evaluate our water sources, such drilling and coring equipment. Hydrologists utilize salinity testing equipment and equipment to test humidity and atmospheric pressure.

Examining environmental impact data of erosion, drought, and pollution are part of a hydrologist’s responsibilities. Hydrologists may explore how these abovementioned factors will negatively affect water sources and how to minimize their negative impact. They compile computer data in order to forecast future environmental issues that may affect water supplies. The core of a hydrologist’s work is to create water-related projects such as irrigation systems, water treatment facilities, and hydroelectric power plants. Preparing reports and presentations, while educating the public about the importance of our Earth’s water supply, is vital to a hydrologist’s job.

Utilizing sensor equipment is also part of a hydrologist’s duties; remote sensing equipment is used to collect hydrological data. The collected data is compiled into refined computer programs and software to analyze the hydrological data. Global positioning systems and geographical information systems are utilized to understand where water sources may lie within a geographical region. It is essential for hydrologists to work with many individuals, such as scientists, engineers, policymakers, and the public.

Hydrologists must work with these individuals to educate them on the importance of our most precious, natural resource. Furthermore, hydrologists work with many individuals in order to explain the study and management of future water supplies around the globe. For example, many hydrologists work with environmental biologists and policymakers to develop methods of water conservation and water needs of wildlife.

Within the hydrology field, many hydrologists choose to specialize in specific areas of the water cycle. For example, the evaporation of water from oceans may be an area of interest for a hydrologist. When studying to become a hydrologist, it is imperative to think of an area of specialization.

There are two types of hydrologists: groundwater hydrologists and surface water hydrologists.

Groundwater hydrologists are responsible for studying and analyzing the water that resides below the Earth’s surface. Duties of the groundwater hydrologist are to focus on water supply, cleanup of groundwater pollutants, and determine suitable areas for water pumping or wells. Groundwater hydrologists focus on providing advice to waste disposal companies, to ensure these containments do not pollute groundwater areas.

Surface water hydrologists are responsible for studying and analyzing the water from aboveground sources, such as lakes, streams, and packs of snow. Duties of the surface water hydrologist are to focus on the future of water levels, tracking precipitation, and forecasting of floods. The hydrologist’s role is crucial to understanding our Earth’s most precious, natural resource. As we move forward into the future, it will be critical for hydrologists to monitor the water cycle and how human activity will change the water cycle system.

Career Spotlight: Hydrologist



Hydrologists are environmental scientists who work to understand how water systems and cycles interact with the Earth. They are mostly concerned with the possibility of contamination and how to preser[...]

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