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The quadrennium 1979–1982 produced notable advances in surface water and groundwater hydrology, as well as important trends toward a more scientific basis for engineering hydrology. Examples of these developments will be given below, as well as an assessment of current trends.

One of the most significant areas to emerge during the last quadrennium is stochastic groundwater analysis. The basis for the conceptualization of groundwater flow and transport as a stochastic process is twofold: (1) the realization that hydrologeological environments are extremely heterogeneous, regardless of the scale of modeling or data collection and (2) the use of groundwater flow and transport modeling results within broader water resources or hazardous waste management studies where risk analysis requires and incorporates groundwater uncertainty.