Celebrating Hydrometry

On 24 June, Richard Keightley of Hawkins’ London Office attended a joint national meeting between the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) and the British Hydrological Society (BHS). The programme, “Celebrating Hydrometry,” was designed to discuss the value that a hydrologist’s work provides to society, the environment and the economy.

The word hydrometry actually comes from two Greek words meaning water and measure. It is the practice of monitoring the individual stages in the hydrologic cycle: which begins with evaporation of surface water of the ocean, and then leads to rainfall, groundwater, and water flow before the water is eventually evaporated once again. Hydrologists like Richard (pictured above collecting hydrometric data during his time with New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) analyse the characteristics, flow and quality of surface water. The collection of hydrometric data, including local rainfall statistics and flooding records, aids in the regulation of the water environment. In his presentation, “Getting Forensic”, Richard spoke to the CIWEM and BHS about how hydrometric data is frequently used in forensic investigations, including as part of expert witness testimonies in court. It is therefore important that this data be collected often, as well as that its measurements have thorough spatial coverage.

Speakers discussed hydrometry and its developments throughout the UK, Iceland, Ireland and New Zealand, highlighting the challenges of each country’s location and relationship to water. Overall, the meeting’s focus was on the need for hydrometric information and data to be collected, and used in order to make better decisions on water resources management and flood risk in the future. 

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