Introduction

Humanity currently faces great challenges and, without question, the most pressing one has to do with the management of water; an element without which it is impossible to conceive life on our planet. Scientific progress has enabled water systems in the world to be more efficient and, above all, more sustainable.

The advent of the so-called digital age and information and communication technologies (ICTs), have led water scientists to develop and use intelligent monitoring systems that foster a more efficient management of water resources and have promoted the evolution of water infrastructure administration and operability and the use of hydrological data.

 

These advances and accomplishments have given way to the emergence of a new era in hydraulic engineering: hydroinformatics, a multidisciplinary specialty that includes environmental, sociological, and ethical aspects.

 

Hydroinformatics uses simulation models and ICTs to solve hydraulics, hydrology, and environmental engineering problems in order to obtain a better management of water-based systems. The main areas of application are: the administration of river basins, floods and urban and coastal water systems.

 

One of the main objectives of hydroinformatics is to generate information and technology to support the decision making of authorities and specialists when structuring public policies.

 

Developments in Hydroinformatics over the course of the last few decades by committees of the International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) and the International Water Association (IWA) have underlined the importance of integrating scientific and technological knowledge for finding solutions to improve water management in a world demanding increasingly complex changes.