Hydrologists research, develop and maintain safe and sustainable domestic or natural water management strategies.

    They ensure the effective flow of water through channels and pipes for the engineering and control of water provision. Their work contributes to the efficient planning, development and sustainable use of natural and domestic water resources, ensuring water is supplied in the most cost-effective manner.


    Employers of Hydrologists

    • water supply companies
    • utility companies and public authorities that provide water and sewerage services
    • government and environmental bodies
    • consultancies, including civil engineering and environmental management and assessment companies
    • research and development agencies
    • educational institutions that undertake relevant teaching and research



    • studying relationships between soil and rock features, rainfall and water run-off
    • using specialist computer modelling applications
    • recording and analysing water resource systems data
    • employing statistical and hydrological modelling techniques
    • determining the most effective water management methods
    • assessing the impact of environmental changes and land use changes
    • predicting and monitoring rainfall, water yields and usage
    • liaising with clients, consultants, water regulators, researchers, external bodies and other professionals
    • managing on-site data collection
    • forecasting floods
    • producing water and drought management plans
    • ensuring appropriate regulations are implemented
    • keeping up to date with scientific and technical developments
    • making presentations
    • supervising the work of hydrometrists and other staff



    A strong academic background is essential for all candidates. You will need a degree in an appropriate subject, eg geography, engineering, science, maths, or environmental studies. Relevant degree subjects that cover elements of hydrology include:

    • civil and environmental engineering
    • ecology
    • environmental management
    • environmental sciences
    • geography (with a physical science base)
    • geology
    • soil science.



    • sound technical knowledge
    • strong oral and written communication skills
    • numeracy and a good understanding of mathematical modelling and IT programming skills (depending on the role)
    • analytical skills
    • people skills, in order to engage with a range of different groups, e.g. planners
    • project-management skills
    • a high level of commitment and self-motivation
    • a logical, methodical approach and good organizational skills
    • a flexible approach to work and the ability to adapt to change and deal effectively with varying situations
    • a driving licence – usually a requirement.