Scientific Colloquium
November 19,  2004


UCI Distinguished Professor and Director
Center for Hydrometeorology and Remote Sensing (CHRS)

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California, Irvine


From the perspective of water resources, the 20th century is the century of a remarkable number of engineering solutions (construction of hundreds of thousands of dams, aqueducts and water distribution systems) to meet the ever-increasing demand for water by the world’s growing population.  Addressing the uncertainties in hydrologic variabilities, such as floods and droughts, due to climate and weather related phenomena, were often dealt with through the engineering design and conjunctive use of both surface and ground waters.

Towards the latter decades of the last century and due to a number of factors, among them environmental concerns and rapid depletion of resources, the emphasis has shifted from “structural” to “non-structural” solutions and more efficient use of fresh waters.  Implementation of non-structural solutions will require: (a) improved understanding of the interconnection between climate and eco systems and the elements of the hydrologic cycle, (b) deployment of observation systems (both spaced-based and in-situ) across local-regional-continental scales which allow monitoring of basin conditions at relevant spatial and temporal scales, (c) better predictive models, and most importantly (d) dissemination of information which is useful and relevant for decision making.

A review of progress towards addressing the above requirements for an integrated water resources management system will be provided.