What does a Hydrogeologist do?

Hydrogeologists study the properties of and manage water resources by performing extensive field surveys and laboratory research. As a Hydrogeologist, you may study the role of water in a particular ecosystem, measure the rainfall and surface salinity in an area, or map the flow of groundwater after events such as deforestation or fire. You will likely use data gathered from the field to develop detailed computational models of water systems over time, and assist decision makers in planning and responding to particular events such as flood, fire or climate change.

Why does a Hydrogeologist do this?

Hydrogeologists play an important role in management and conservation of water systems and resources. They play a key role in ensuring the safe, sustainable and environmentally sound management of natural and domestic water resources. Hydrogeologists contribute to the efficient planning and development of water resources and ensuring water is supplied in the most cost-effective manner.

How does a Hydrogeologist do their job?

Hydrogeologists collect groundwater data (water level, water quality), develop groundwater models to trace groundwater contamination and determine sustainable water abstraction and work closely with engineers in large infrastructure projects.

Some typical tasks include:

  • Selecting, installing, maintaining and repairing instruments that monitor groundwater levels, groundwater flows and water quality
  • Completing field observations and collecting sample data at various locations to confirm data gathered by automatic monitors
  • Compiling geological data and developing geological models
  • Providing advice to other professionals about civil works associated with water-related projects and activities (including dams, weirs, bridges, irrigation projects, water supply schemes, flood protection works, warning services and marine facilities)
  • Preparing reports on sites, data collection and quality.

Where do Hydrogeologists do their work?

Hydrogeologists' work is a mix of field work, laboratory work and office work. Often Hydrogeologists spend significant amounts of time out in the field conducting surveys and gathering data. Back in the lab, you would conduct detailed experimental analysis of samples and data collected from the field. Based on this data and experimental analysis, you would then often write up these results as a paper or report for use by decision makers or for publication.

Tertiary Study

You could begin a Bachelor of Science with studies in:

You could then continue with graduate study to gain further theoretical and practical skills and become an expert in your field. You could consider studies including:

Some companies that employ Hydrogeologists

  • ERM
  • GHD
  • Golder
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
  • Goulburn-Murray Water