Hydrology & Hydraulics

Hydrologic and hydraulic analyses are performed for hazard mitigation and forensic investigations of flooding events, for developing reservoir management plans, and when performing FEMA floodplain mapping and levee certification and re-certification studies.  These analyses are becoming increasingly relevant to businesses and governments when projecting long-term water availability for purposes of developing plans to ensure adequate water supplies are available for their needs.  These same principles are cornerstones to the technical approaches for habitat management and restoration. 

Exponent’s Water Resources professionals have extensive experience in providing clients with robust and scientifically sound services to address water issues and requirements.  We routinely make use of appropriate analytical or numerical approaches using state-of-the-art tools and software to perform our analyses.

The study of water flow, including its properties and behavior, entails the application of hydrologic and hydraulic principles and methods.  Hydrologic analyses are performed to quantify the volumetric flow rate of water draining from a watershed (i.e., drainage area) over time.  The amount of water that flows from a watershed depends on the characteristics of the watershed (e.g., size, land cover, antecedent moisture, and steepness) and the presence of water (e.g., the intensity and duration of a precipitation event, rate of snowmelt, or regulation from a dam).  Hydraulic analyses are performed to determine the depth of flow, flow velocity, and forces from flowing water on a surface or at hydraulic structures.  These studies are important components in the hydraulic design and analysis of many structures.


Exponent’s services include: 

  • Rainfall-runoff analysis  
  • Watershed modeling and analyses 
  • Hydraulic analyses 
  • Hydraulic design of flood protection channels 
  • Overland flood routing 
  • FEMA floodplain mapping 
  • FEMA levee certification and re-certification 
  • Water availability forecasts 
  • Advanced groundwater flow and transport simulations
  • Model calibration, parameters estimation, and uncertainty quantification
  • Water use planning 
  • Aerial photography and topographic map interpretation 
  • Remote sensing 
  • Geographic information system (GIS) database creation 
  • Dam and reservoir management 
  • Wetland and riparian habitat management and restoration 
  • Coordination with local, state, and federal agencies