Scientific progress in the field of surface water hydrology appears currently to be constrained by a lack of comprehensive field data involving the coordinated simultaneous observation of many meteorological and hydrologic variables at mesoscale. Mesoscale meteorological experiments are underactive discussion by (1) a U.S. interagency team and (2) the World Climate Research Program. The hydrologic research community should ensure that its interests are represented in the planning for these unique experiments.
Historically, the field of surface water hydrology has grown out of an engineering need to provide adequate water supplies over the long-term and to provide flood protection in the short term. Early work involved the collection and analysis of station records of precipitation and streamflow, and their use in developing lumped (i.e., one-dimensional) models of the precipitation-runoff behavior of watersheds.