For more than a century the development of hydrology has been largely in the hands of civil and agricultural engineers working on the classic problems of water supply and the reduction of natural hazards. Their considerable success at these tasks is evidenced by the high standards of public health and safety enjoyed by the urban populations of the developed nations. Nevertheless, the pragmatic focus of the field has retarded the development of fundamental hydrologic science in comparison with the solid Earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences. This has resulted in a scientific and educational base that is inadequate for the solution of many emerging problems and has left the hydrologic sciences without a platform within the federal science policy establishment from which to launch needed research and educational programs.
P. S. Eagleson
Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union