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14 Hydroinformatics and its Contributions to Hydrology: From Computation to Communication

Part 2. Hydroinformatics

  1. Michael B Abbott1,
  2. Arthur E Mynett2,
  3. J Philip O'Kane3

Published Online: 15 APR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470848944.hsa013

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

How to Cite

Abbott, M. B., Mynett, A. E. and O'Kane, J. P. 2006. Hydroinformatics and its Contributions to Hydrology: From Computation to Communication. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 2:14.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Knowledge Engineering B.V. Belgium and UNESCO-IHE Delft, Delft, The Netherlands

  2. 2

    WL Delft Hydraulics & UNESCO-IHE and Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands

  3. 3

    Environment Institute, National University of Ireland, Cork, Ireland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2006


Hydroinformatics is concerned with the application of information and communication technologies for the planning, management, and conservation of the aquatic environment. With the rapidly increasing capabilities of computer-based systems, considerable advances were made during the past decade or more. Some historic developments are outlined in this article and the development of hydroinformatics as a sociotechnology is explained. The transition from computation to communication is illustrated by examples from present day flood simulation and flood early warning systems; emerging applications of data-mining and evolutionary computing are demonstrated for the fields of ecohydraulics and ecohydrology. The impact of hydroinformatics on the future role of hydrology in a multiuser environment is discussed. The contours of a next (fifth) generation software systems making use of agent-based communication over a network of computers and developers are outlined. The scope and content of all subsequent articles within this chapter are presented; these can be broadly grouped into areas of (i) physics-based numerical modeling; (ii) data-driven modeling and evolutionary computing; and (iii) design and decision support systems.


  • hydroinformatics;
  • computer-based modelling;
  • flood early warning systems;
  • data-mining;
  • evolutionary computing;
  • agent-based software development