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Green Jobs in Hydrology

Rakesh Sharma

Hydrology is the science that encompasses the occurrence, distribution, movement and properties of the waters of the earth and their relationship with the environment within each phase of the hydrologic cycle. The water cycle, or hydrologic cycle, is a continuous process by which water is purified by evaporation and transported from the earth’s surface (including the oceans) to the atmosphere and back to the land and oceans. The hydrologist studies the fundamental transport processes to be able to describe the quantity and quality of water as it moves through the cycle (evaporation, precipitation, stream flow, infiltration, ground water flow, and other components). The engineering hydrologist, or water resources engineer, is involved in the planning, analysis, design, construction and operation of projects for the control, utilization, and management of water resources.

Water resources problems are also the concern of meteorologists, oceanographers, geologists, chemists, physicists, biologists, economists, political scientists, specialists in applied mathematics and computer science, and engineers in several fields. Hydrologists apply scientific knowledge and mathematical principles to solve water-related problems in society: problems of quantity, quality and availability. They 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: preventing or cleaning up pollution or locating sites for safe disposal of hazardous wastes.

Course Areas

For M.Sc degree in Hydrology one should have a Graduate degree with science discipline either having Geology or Physics as one of the subjects. Graduates having other specialized qualifications related to water sector also can apply for the degree course in the related institutes.

Career Options

There are numerous career opportunities available for hydrologists within our country. Job opportunities are also available for them abroad. Numerous research institutions in addition to oil and gas industries take in students of hydrology. Those who have a master’s degree in the subject will get much better career opportunities. One other job option available for hydrologists is to work in the fields of education. Those who have a NET or PhD can get employed as Lecturers or Assistant professors with institutions that teach hydrology and geosciences. Scientists and engineers in hydrology may be involved in both field investigations and office work. In the field, they may collect basic data, oversee testing of water quality, direct field crews and work with equipment. Many jobs require travel. A hydrologist may spend considerable time doing field work in remote and rugged terrain. In the office, hydrologists do many things such as interpreting hydrologic data and performing analyses for determining possible water supplies.

Much of their work relies on computers for organizing, summarizing and analyzing masses of data, and for modeling studies such as the prediction of flooding and the consequences of reservoir releases or the effect of leaking underground oil storage tanks.


The remuneration of this field is high too. Postgraduates of this field will get a salary of around Rs. 14, 000/- to Rs. 18, 000/- each month. Because of the vast career opportunities that are available for students of hydrology, this field is definitely worth considering. In abroad one can earn six digit salary also.

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