Global freshwater models like WaterGAP create data representations like this for hydroinformaticians.

Hydroinformatics is the multidisciplinary application of information and decision support systems to address the equitable and efficient management and use of water for many different purposes.[1] Hydroinformatics draws on and integrates hydraulics, hydrology, environmental engineering, and many other disciplines. It sees application at all points in the water cycle, from atmosphere to ocean, and in artificial interventions in that cycle such as urban drainage and water supply systems. It provides support for decision making at all levels, from governance and policy through to management and operations.

Hydroinformatics also recognises the inherently social nature of the problems of water management and of decision making processes, and it includes mechanisms towards understanding the social processes by which technologies are brought into use and how they change the water system. Since the resources to obtain and develop technological solutions affecting water collection, purification, and distribution continue to be concentrated in the hands of the minority, the need to examine these social processes are particularly acute:

"[T]he role of the hydroinformatician in this process is to create sociotechnical environments in which the transmutations necessary to provide states of social justice can be catalysed through the creation of appropriate technologies. These technologies are those that can transform data and technical information into a form of knowledge and understanding that can be assimilated by the non-technical stakeholders so that they can contribute meaningfully and responsibly to the decision-making process. Therefore, one of the aims of hydroinformatics is a completely transparent decision making process involving all stakeholders in a water infrastructure project along with the relevant professionals directed to realisations of social justice, which are understood as transcendental states of social being."[2]


While the concepts of hydrological modeling and computational hydraulics have been around since at least the late 1950, the term "hydroinformatics" wasn't born from those concepts until the late 1980s. At that time, hydrological numerical modeling, data collection, and data processing were beginning to expand and synchronize: studies of water flow looked at more variables, recordings and samplings expanded in scope, and networked computer systems became more powerful. By 1991, professor Michael B. Abbott published Hydroinformatics: Information Technology and the Aquatic Environment, a seminal work in the field.[3][4] In September 1994, the first International Conference on Hydroinformatics was held, followed by the launch of the Journal of Hydroinformatics in 1999. And in 2003, an experimental graduate-level course on the topic was taught at the University of Illinois.[5] As of 2020, entities like Utah State University, Brigham Young University, Newcastle University, and UNESCO are all offering graduate and postgraduate courses on the topic of hydroinformatics.[6][7][8][9]


Hydroinformatics can help tackle problems and tasks such as the following[4][10]:

  • the multidimensional modeling of flow phenomena in specific geometries
  • the development of better shallow-water flow models
  • the optimization of damn breaks
  • the development of flood protection for a city
  • the development of artificial neural networks for better data analysis
  • the construction of bridges across bodies of water
  • the development of environmental models to better manage crop irrigation from year to year
  • the interpretation and management of the instrumentation and wireless sensor data of automated irrigation systems


Like other fields of informatics, hydroinformaticians have recognized the need for a larger global initiative to use technology for greater data integration and sharing in the field. International efforts to create databases like those found at the Global Runoff Data Centre, Global Hydrology Resource Center, and AQUASTAT have furthered that goal. Freeware like CROPWAT[11] and open-source software like HYPE (HYdrological Predictions for the Environment)[12] have further added to the informatics tools available to hydrologists.

Recommended reading

External links


This article reuses a few elements from the Wikipedia article.


  1. Gasmelseid, Tagelsir Mohamed (2011). "Preface". Handbook of Research on Hydroinformatics. IGI Global. pp. xxiv–xxvii. ISBN 9781615209088. Retrieved 21 March 2020. 
  2. Price, R.K.; Vojinović, Z. (2011). "Chapter 3: Hydroinformatics". Urban Hydroinformatics: Data, Models, and Decision Support for Integrated Urban Water Management. IWA Publishing. pp. 39–61. ISBN 9781843392743. Retrieved 21 March 2020. 
  3. Hashemi, Mukhtar; O’Connell, Enda (2011). "Chapter 5: From Hydrological Models to Policy-Relevant Decision Support Systems (DSSs): A Historical Perspective". Handbook of Research on Hydroinformatics. IGI Global. pp. 81–123. ISBN 9781615209088. Retrieved 21 March 2020. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Abbott, Michael B. (2008). "Chapter 1: Some Future Prospects in Hydroinformatics". Practical Hydroinformatics: Computational Intelligence and Technological Developments in Water Applications. Springer. pp. 3–16. ISBN 9783540798811. Retrieved 21 March 2020. 
  5. Kumar, Praveen; Alameda, Jay C.; Bajscy, Peter; Folk, Mike; Markus, Momcilo (2005). "Preface". Hydroinformatics: Data Integrative Approaches in Computation, Analysis, and Modeling. CRC Press. p. xiii. ISBN 9781420038002. Retrieved 21 March 2020. 
  6. "Hydroinformatics". Utah State University. Retrieved 21 March 2020. 
  7. "Hydroinformatics". Brigham Young University. Retrieved 21 March 2020. 
  8. "Hydroinformatics and Water Management (Euro Aquae) MSc". Newcastle University. Retrieved 21 March 2020. 
  9. "Hydroinformatics - Modelling and Information Systems for Water Management". UNESCO-IHE. Retrieved 21 March 2020. 
  10. Mynett, A.E. (1999). "Hydroinformatics and its applications at Delft Hydraulics". Journal of Hydroinformatics 1 (2): 83–102. doi:10.2166/hydro.1999.0008. 
  11. "CropWat". FAO Water Development and Management Unit. Retrieved 21 March 2020. 
  12. "HYPE: Model Water". Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute. Retrieved 21 March 2020.