Hydrology in Practice, 1983, 2010

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Hydrology in Practice 4th Edition


In the 1980s Elizabeth Shaw was an academic in the Department of Civil Engineering at Imperial College, London and produced the first edition of "Hydrology in Practice" as a textbook for hydrology students in engineering, focusing on methods used in the UK. The book became widely used. After her retirement from Imperial College, Elizabeth moved to Hornby in the Lune Valley, where she continued to work on improvements to Hydrology in Practice, with 2nd and 3rd editions being published in 1988 and 1994. These continued to be popular undergraduate and postgraduate texts but got overtaken by new developments, particularly when the Flood Studies Report was replaced by the Flood Estimation Handbook in 1999.

The book continued to sell, however, and Elizabeth badgered the publishers to see it updated. Eventually, Taylor and Francis approached Keith Beven at Lancaster University task with the help of Nick Chappell, also at Lancaster, and Rob Lamb of JBA Consulting and other staff at JBA. Since Lancaster was only just downstream of Hornby, it was possible to discuss the 4th edition with her.

While clearly proud of what Hydrology in Practice had achieved, she felt that because the 4th edition was much changed from the first three editions, it was not right that she should continue to be one of its authors. However, just before the manuscript was submitted Keith Beven pointed out to Elizabeth that a lot of material had been carried over from the earlier editions and that in any case everyone had known Hydrology in Practice simply as ‘Shaw’ ever since it was first published. So Elizabeth remains as first author and it can still be known as ‘Shaw’. The published version was delivered to her in Hornby before her Alzheimer's disease took too great a hold, and is a fitting tribute to her contribution to hydrological education in the UK and many other countries.


Shaw, Elizabeth M. (1928-2013)

Keith J. Beven, Lancaster and Uppsala Universities

Nick Chappell, Lancaster University

Rob Lamb, JBA Consulting and JBA Trust

Editions, Dates[edit]

Shaw, Elizabeth M., Hydrology in Practice, 1st Edition, 1983, Taylor and Francis: London

Shaw, Elizabeth M., Hydrology in Practice, 2st Edition, 1988, Taylor and Francis: London

Shaw, Elizabeth M., Hydrology in Practice, 3rd Edition, 1994, Taylor and Francis: London

Shaw, Elizabeth, M., Keith J. Beven, Nick A. Chappell, Rob Lamb, 2010, Hydrology in Practice, Fourth Edition, CRC Press: London

Publisher, Place[edit]

4th Edition, CRC Press: London


ISBN 9780415370424


  • The Hydrological Cycle, Hydrometeorology and Climate

Hydrological Measurements

  • Hydrometric Networks and Data-Logging
  • Precipitation
  • Evapotranspiration
  • Infiltration, Moisture and Groundwater
  • Hillslope Runoff Processes
  • River Flow
  • Water Quality

Hydrological Analysis and Modelling

  • Precipitation Analysis
  • Evapotranspiration Calculations
  • River Flow Analysis
  • Catchment Modelling
  • Flood Routing
  • Groundwater Models


  • Flood Mapping
  • Flood Risk Management
  • Water Resources
  • Urban
  • River Basin Management


Hydrology in Practice, 4th Edition