History of Hydrology Wiki
There is no readily available source of information about the history of hydrology and hydrologists. This site is one of a number of initiatives (see the links below) to try and remedy that situation. All hydrologists are welcome to contribute information about the development of the subject (and its overlaps with hydraulics, water resource engineering, geomorphology, ecohydrology, sociohydrology, hydrometeorology, water quality, etc). The site is intended to provide information on hydrologists who are no longer active but who have made a valuable contribution to the history of hydrology.
Areas of coverage
The site concentrates on 5 categories of entries. Templates for each area can be found at Templates
Why do we need a History of Hydrology Wiki?
There is a book on the History of Hydrology, written by Asit K Biswas (North-Holland, 1971) but it provides a summary of developments only up to 1900. There is also some overlap with the three remarkable books on Hydraulicians of Europe and the USA from 1800 – 2000 produced by Willi Hager at ETH and the Hunter Rouse and Simon Ince book on the History of Hydraulics (Iowa Institue of Hydraulic Research, 1957; see also Enzo Levi, The Science of Water - The foundation of Modern Hydraulics, ASCE, 1995). There have also been some efforts to put some of the history of hydrology together, such as the AGU History of Geophysics Volume 3 of 1987 edited by Edward Landa and Simon Ince. But the material is dispersed and not necessarily readily available.
Where you see that information is lacking, you can contribute to the site by writing a new article or contributing to an existing article using the Wiki editing functions, once you have registered as a user and have a login for the site. Entries should be in English but we encourage contributions that reflect the development of hydrology in all countries of the world, particularly early history that did not make it into the Biswas book.
Note that the AGU Hydrology Section has, in a parallel initiative, started a "Virtual Hydrologists" site which has some overlap with the current site, and more complete bibliographies. There are also interviews with a number of famous hydrologists on their History of Hydrology page, while the International Association of Hydrogeologists also have The Hydrogeologist Time Capsule with interviews about the history of hydrogeology. A new initiative has been undertaken to record some more interviews for the History of Hydrology Project. The first of these may be found at the History of Hydrology YouTube Channel.
Creating a new article
To write an article on a new topic (so far not included in the wiki), type the title of the article in the search box in the sidebar and create a new entry when prompted. You must confirm your e-mail address before creating or editing pages for the first time. Please set and validate your e-mail address through your user preferences.
Photographs and images can be included, but must be uploaded by a registered user before inclusion in an article .
Templates for articles on in each area can be found here: Templates.
Editing an existing article
Many of the entries are based on information readily available on the Web. In the case of the biographies these are often without any input from hydrologists who knew them (in some cases clearly just because they lived too long ago). If you do have additional information about one of the entries then all the entries can be edited once the same procedure is followed to register on the site and confirm your email.
Links to other relevant wikis and web sites
As part of this History of Hydrology project we have started a series of video interviews with well-known hydrologists about their own work, careers, and important developments in hydrology. These are hosted as a YouTube site at
- History of Hydrology YouTube Channel - video interviews with hydrologists started in 2018
Other video interviews relevant to hydrologists, hosted by the AGU, IAH and Interpore can be found at
- AGU History of Hydrology site - video interviews with hydrologists
- The Hydrogeologist Time Capsule - video interviews about the development of hydrogeology
- Interpore Award Winner Interviews
Some other sites of interest are
- Experimental Hydrology – a source of information on experimental catchments and hydrological instrumentation
- Water Wiki - focussing on water resources and decision making
- Small hydrological research basins - focussing on experimental catchments mainly in Europe
- AGU Virtual Hydrologists site - access to published legacy of celebrated hydrologists
The History of Hydrology wiki was started by Keith Beven in 2016. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org