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What does a hydrologist do?

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Welcome to CoreFacts, where we're always short on time and big on science. I'm Jessica Robertson. Today's question is about scientists themselves.

What does a hydrologist do?

Water is one of our most important natural resources. Without it, there would be no life on earth. Hydrologists study all aspects of water and its relation to geography, geology, biology, and chemistry. They apply scientific knowledge and mathematical principles to solve water-related problems in society. These include problems of quantity, quality, and availability.

Hydrologists may be concerned with finding water supplies for cities or irrigated farms, or controlling river flooding or soil erosion. Or, they may work in environmental protection, helping to prevent or clean up pollution or locate sites for safe disposal of hazardous wastes. Hydrologists use many tools to do their work, from shovels to computers and mass spectrometers, and new tools are being developed every day.

A description of hydrology and what hydrologists do can be found at

And now you know. Join us again every weekday for a new CoreFact. For other CoreFacts, or for CoreCast, our in-depth science podcast, go to If you'd like to have a question featured on our show, give us an email at or a phone call at 703-648-5600. Remember, long distance fees do apply.

CoreFacts is a product of the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior.

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Title: What does a hydrologist do?

Description: Listen to hear the answer.


Date Recorded: 5/21/2008

Usage: This audio file is public domain/of free use unless otherwise stated. Please refer to the USGS Copyright section for how to credit this audio.

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