Quantcast The Distinction between Hydrology and Hydraulics

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get is another answer--It don't help the problem any.  So I'll spend my money doing
something constructive.  There are a few of them that did that--maybe they don't have
the exact answer but they still got a lot more capability than they had before.
The
between Hydrology and Hydraulics
Q ..
Now something else you mentioned was the Hydrology and Hydraulics Branch. You've
already said hydrology is not hydraulics, and WES and the HEC are two different things.
Do you want to make that distinction and definition in terms of the difference between
hydrology and hydraulics?
A
Well, of course, hydrology and hydraulics have been pretty much together, even though
we have two different terms there as far as working relationships because they're so
closely related that you don't really know where one ends and the other begins. There is
some overlap area there where hydraulics people handle it or hydrology people.
got started, everything was called hydraulics. There was nothing
Years ago when this
in the Civil Service register regarding hydrology. There was no such thing as a hydraulic
or a hydrologic engineer. You were either in engineering hydraulics or you were in
hydrology or sedimentation. I mean your basic engineering was hydraulic engineering.
Then under that came hydrology and associated activities.
A lot of the people in the hydrology area said, "Well, hydrology is really more prominent
than hydraulics.
The hydraulics experts said, "The hydraulics is really the most
important. Does hydraulics include hydrology or vice versa, you know, and so on. You
don't really
any hard and fast definitions, I don't think, other than design hydraulics
for structures, such as spillways, outlet works, and things like that.
There is no question about that being hydraulics.  Now when you get into things like
backwater studies, in a lot of cases they say, "Well, if it is a natural channel, the
hydrology people do it. If it consists of improved channels, with structures in them, with
drop structures, with concrete walls and concrete bottoms, or whatever, pipes and stuff
like that, then it is hydraulics.  But as long as it is natural terrain, then it's hydrology.
So, maybe that is part of the distinction.
But, anyway, Al
liked to include practically everything in hydrologic
engineering--everything was subservient to that. He was the one who got the hydrologic
engineering definition started, and I think a lot of places use it now where they didn't use
to. They never used to use it at all. It was either you were a hydraulic engineer, and you

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