Learning between the generations: 40 years of the British Hydrological Society

A celebration of the 40th anniversary of the British Hydrological Society took place at the Institute of Civil Engineering in London on 6 November 2023.  The meeting was a great opportunity to bring together people from academia, consultancy and operational hydrology to look back over the progress in hydrological research and practice, and look forward to current and emerging initiatives, such as the Flood Hydrology Roadmap and the Floods and Droughts Research Infrastructure.

It also gave everyone an opportunity to celebrate the increasing diversity in hydrology, with a particular focus on the contributions of women.

David Archer, one of the longest serving members of the BHS, presented on ‘Black Swans in Hydrology’ and summarised his recent research with Sam Watkiss on Abrupt Wave Fronts (AWF), also known as flash flood events, where river water levels rise very rapidly and are extremely hazardous to river users.

David also talked about the collation of the Flash Flood Chronology, a freely available database of flash flood events in Britain derived from historical reports dating back over more than 200 years.

Alex Scott, JBA Trust Programme Manager, presented a poster exploring the impact of the Studentship Awards which provide bursaries for masters students, and what the hydrology community can do to encourage a diverse pipeline of talent.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a celebration without a cake!