Hydrology at the University of Saskatchewan - A Short History
The University has played a central role in Canadian hydrology since the 1960s, when Professor Don Gray and colleagues established and developed a strong research and training program at the Division of Hydrology (in existence from 1964 to 2001). The Division hosted a series of seminars on the Principles of Hydrology, which were attended by aspiring hydrologists from across Canada. Don Gray later published the first textbook on Canadian Hydrology, the Handbook on the Principles of Hydrology in 1970, and - with David Malé - the pioneering Handbook of Snow: Principles, Processes, Management and Use, in 1981.
In 1986, the critical mass of hydrological research in Saskatoon was additionally bolstered when Environment Canada established its National Hydrology Research Centre (part of the National Water Research Institute, NWRI), and the Hydrometeorological Research Division of the Atmospheric Environment Service (now the Meteorological Service of Canada, MSC), at Innovation Place on the University's campus. Subsequent arrivals at NHRC included the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration of Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, and the Hydrometeorology and Arctic Laboratory (HAL) of Environment Canada.
The Centre for Hydrology was established as part of the Environment Initiative detailed in the University of Saskatchewan Integrated Plan of 2004, which stated:
Hydrological research opportunities continue to improve at the University of Saskatchewan. The Canada Research Chairs program, the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Province of Saskatchewan and the University have invested nearly $3 million in facilities and special positions for the Centre for Hydrology. The Centre retains strong linkages with Environment Canada and the Provincial Government’s Saskatchewan Watershed Authority, with interest in applying advanced solutions to water resource issues. Looking to the immediate future, CH personnel will play a major part in supporting new research in the field of global water security under Canada Excellence Research Chair Professor Howard Wheater.