OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Conference to Explore Hydrologic Issues

10/16/2006

CORVALLIS, Ore. – About 100 leading hydrologists from around the world are at Oregon State University today through Oct. 19 for an international workshop, “Towards a Community Action Plan for the Hydrological Sciences.”

The workshop explores ways to improve hydrologic predictions, reduce uncertainty in how watersheds function and learn how they can be better managed.

The event is one part of a decade-long initiative of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences called “PUB: Prediction in Ungauged Basins,” an effort to more effectively predict things like stream flow, sediment and water quality in places where they are not physically measured. Improved knowledge and systems in this area should allow for more effective and sustainable river basin management, experts say.

“These issues are of special importance to Oregonians, where much of the state is poorly gauged for water resources,” said Jeffrey McDonnell, who holds the Richardson Chair in Watershed Science in the OSU Department of Forest Engineering. “In addition, it’s poorly understood how water resources will change in response to climate and land use change.”

The workshop, which is designed for science professionals, is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the OSU Institute for Water and Watersheds, and the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science.

Meetings will explore such topics as estimating uncertainty, fiber optic hydrology, watershed classifications, new modeling approaches, remote sensing, and many other issues.

For two years, McDonnell will coordinate the PUB initiative among the researchers involved in the International Association of Hydrological Sciences, including the efforts of its 3,500 members, 65 member countries and three agencies of the United Nations.