Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic

Journal metrics

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 4.256 IF 4.256
  • IF 5-year value: 4.819 IF 5-year 4.819
  • CiteScore value: 4.10 CiteScore 4.10
  • SNIP value: 1.412 SNIP 1.412
  • SJR value: 2.023 SJR 2.023
  • IPP value: 3.97 IPP 3.97
  • h5-index value: 58 h5-index 58
  • Scimago H index value: 99 Scimago H index 99
Volume 22, issue 11 | Copyright
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 5675-5695, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-5675-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 02 Nov 2018

Research article | 02 Nov 2018

Stochastic hydrogeology's biggest hurdles analyzed and its big blind spot

Yoram Rubin1, Ching-Fu Chang1, Jiancong Chen1, Karina Cucchi1, Bradley Harken1, Falk Heße2, and Heather Savoy1 Yoram Rubin et al.
  • 1Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 94720, USA
  • 2Computational Hydrosystems, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), 04318 Leipzig, Germany

Abstract. This paper considers questions related to the adoption of stochastic methods in hydrogeology. It looks at factors affecting the adoption of stochastic methods including environmental regulations, financial incentives, higher education, and the collective feedback loop involving these factors. We begin by evaluating two previous paper series appearing in the stochastic hydrogeology literature, one in 2004 and one in 2016, and identifying the current thinking on the topic, including the perceived data needs of stochastic methods, the attitude in regulations and the court system regarding stochastic methods, education of the workforce, and the availability of software tools needed for implementing stochastic methods in practice. Comparing the state of adoption in hydrogeology to petroleum reservoir engineering allowed us to identify quantitative metrics on which to base our analysis. For impediments to the adoption of stochastic hydrology, we identified external factors as well as self-inflicted wounds. What emerges is a picture much broader than current views. Financial incentives and regulations play a major role in stalling adoption. Stochastic hydrology's blind spot is in confusing between uncertainty with risk and ignoring uncertainty. We show that stochastic hydrogeology comfortably focused on risk while ignoring uncertainty, to its own detriment and to the detriment of its potential clients. The imbalance between the treatment on risk on one hand and uncertainty on the other is shown to be common to multiple disciplines in hydrology that interface with risk and uncertainty.

Publications Copernicus
Download
Short summary
This paper addresses questions related to the adoption of stochastic methods in hydrogeology, looking at factors such as environmental regulations, financial incentives, higher education, and the collective feedback loop involving these factors. We show that stochastic hydrogeology's blind spot is in focusing on risk while ignoring uncertainty, to the detriment of its potential clients. The imbalance between the treatments of risk and uncertainty is shown to be common to multiple disciplines.
This paper addresses questions related to the adoption of stochastic methods in hydrogeology,...
Citation
Share