World’s Water Leaders Meet at Colorado State to Discuss Drought and Other Hydrology Issues, Honor Josã? D. Salas for Lifetime of Work

Hydrology experts, water managers and geophysical scientists from across the United State and throughout the world are gathering at Colorado State University March 31 through April 2 to address drought and other water issues at the 23rd Annual Hydrology Days conference. The yearly symposium provides a unique, multi-disciplinary forum for researchers and professionals in hydrologic science and closely related disciplines to exchange ideas about all aspects of water.

"Colorado State is known internationally as a leader in hydrology and water resources science," said Jorge A. Ramírez, professor of civil engineering and chairman of the Hydrology Days organizing committee. "Our university offers an ideal setting for such a prominent collection of researchers and professionals to move toward solving water-related challenges such as those associated with drought, flooding and environmental impacts, all in the context of ever increasing water demands."

Sponsored by the American Geophysical Union, the annual Hydrology Days conference began at Colorado State in 1981. The conference provides a forum for outstanding scientists and professionals to share ideas, problems, analyses and solutions. Much of this year’s conference will be devoted to scientific and management aspects of drought in light of current issues. The event also will address the water cycle and its interactions with land surface, atmospheric, ecosystem, economic and political processes in addition to aspects of water resources engineering, management and policy.

Colorado State civil engineering professor José D. Salas is being honored as the 2003 Hydrology Days Award winner. Salas is being recognized by his peers for outstanding contributions to hydrologic science in the areas of drought analysis, stochastic modeling and simulation of hydrologic processes, flood prediction and forecasting. The Hydrology Days Award is presented each year to an outstanding individual in recognition of his or her contributions to hydrology and related fields.

Salas will also be one of two inaugural Borland Lecturers and present a keynote lecture titled "Characterizing the Dynamics of Drought," which will summarize his research into the stochastic evolution of droughts in time and space and how that knowledge can be used to make appropriate water management decisions.

Professor John A. Dracup of the University of California-Berkeley will present the other Borland Lecture titled "Linking Drought Research to Water Resource Management Actions." His renowned research has focused on how interconnected climatic factors combine to produce drought conditions in California’s Central Valley.

Other drought-related presentations and discussions at next week’s conference include:

  • Linking drought research to water resource management actions.
  • Climate, water resources and environmental sustainability: ensuring adequate water supplies in the 21st century.
  • Drought and water policy: implications for Colorado.
  • 2002 municipal response to drought in the Colorado Front Range.
  • Coping with droughts: regionwide reservoir storage estimation for efficient water management, and drought mitigation.
  • Characterizing the dynamics of droughts.
  • Drought in Colorado -where are we in 2003?
  • Severe drought: a review of the 2002 water year in Colorado.
  • Drought, fire and forests – lessons from 1851 and 2002.
  • Effect of forest thinning on soil moisture after 12 years.
  • Post-fire erosion in the Colorado Front Range: rates and recovery.
  • Use of a rainfall simulator to assess controls on post-fire runoff and sediment production, Colorado Front Range.

The conference features speakers from top universities, public agencies and private organizations throughout the world. Presenters include representatives from Colorado State, the University of California-Berkeley, Boston University, the University of Bonn in Germany, Cornell University, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the U. S. Forest Service, as well as from educational institutions, public and private offices in Mexico, Italy, Taiwan, Switzerland, Korea, New Zealand and Iran among others.

For more information about Hydrology Days and a complete conference program including all presentations, speakers and presentation abstracts, visit the Web at or contact Ramírez at (970) 491-7621.