During the past two decades there has been a dramatic increase in the development and application of hydrologic and water quality models to evaluate complex environmental processes and to assess nonpoint source pollution of soil and water resources. Recognizing that advancements in modeling continue to be driven by developments in computer technology, it is worthwhile to examine some of the current and emerging computer technologies that hold great promise for advancing the use of hydrologic and water quality models. An attempt is made to forecast and briefly discuss the impact that technologies such as geographic information systems, global positioning systems, and scientific visualization will have on the future of hydrologic and water quality modeling. Forecasting is a very risky business, not because of our chronic inability to predict what will happen in the future but also because such speculation raises questions about what we modelers and model users desire and value. The thesis of this article is that some current and most of the emerging technologies will facilitate development and widespread use of hydrologic and water quality models for water resources management and decision making in the future.
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