Being bayesian: Discussions from the perspectives of stakeholders and hydrologists

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2 Scopus citations


Bayes' Theorem is gaining acceptance in hydrology, but it is still far from standard practice to cast hydrologic analyses in a Bayesian context-especially in the realm of hydrologic practice. Three short discussions are presented to encourage more complete adoption of a Bayesian approach. The first, aimed at a stakeholder audience, seeks to explain that an informal Bayesian analysis is the default approach that we all take to any decision made under uncertainty. The second, aimed at a general hydrologist audience, seeks to establish multi-model approaches as the natural choice for Bayesian hydrologic analysis. The goal of this discussion is to provide a bridge from the stakeholder's natural approach to a more formal, quantitative Bayesian analysis. The third discussion is targeted to a more advanced hydrologist audience, suggesting that some elements of hydrologic practice do not yet reflect a Bayesian philosophy. In particular, an example is given that puts Bayes Theory to work to identify optimal observation sets before data are collected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number461
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Decision-support
  • Hydrology
  • Measurement optimization
  • Modeling
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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