American Institute of
Hydrology Certification

The American Institute of Hydrology (AIH) was organized in 1981 to develop a program to certify qualified individuals as Professional Hydrologists (PH).

logo for AIH

It has grown into the recognized organization for educating, testing and examining the qualification of applicants who wish to be acknowledged as competent in the field of hydrology.

Individuals seek certification as hydrologists to further their education, training and experience in the field of hydrology and to be recognized among peers as possessing the necessary qualifications to practice in the field of hydrology.

Professional Hydrologist

The importance of hydrology increased significantly in the 1960s when the federal government promulgated the Clean Water Legislation. The need for professionals knowledgeable in the science of hydrology multiplied. This attracted individuals calling themselves Hydrologist but without the training and experience.

Professional Hydrologists provide hydrologic services which most often affect the safety of the public. An example is the modeling of creeks to determine the flooding limits of property. The flood maps advise residents of potential flooding of property in heavy rain events.

In the consulting business, Professional Hydrologists must be able to sort out meaningful data and apply hydrological and water-quality analyses to problems in engineering design and on-site investigations. They are called on to apply scientific principles to surface-water problems. In the final analysis, they must be able to formulate practical solutions to surface water problems.

Professional Hydrologist Requirements

The American Institute of Hydrology has developed rigorous qualifications for certification. Individuals wishing to be certified as a Professional Hydrologist must apply to the Board of Registration.

A two-member Board reviews and evaluates each application and makes a recommendation to the Board of Registration.

  • Part of the review process includes three references that can vouch for the applicant's work experience, ethics and character.
  • The education requirements are a minimum of 25 semester hours of hydrology courses. Also, at least 5 semester hours in Chemistry, Physics and Calculus.
  • The applicant must have five years of experience in the practice of hydrology before applying to sit for the exam.
  • Finally, the applicant must pass the Hydrology Fundamentals (Part I) and the Hydrology Practical (Part II) examinations. The exams are offered twice a year. The Chairman and Secretary of the Board review the results of each exam and sent its recommendation to the Executive Committee.

AIH Membership

The American Institute of Hydrology was incorporated in the state of Minnesota on March 3, 1981 by Sandor Csallany, Roman Kanivetsky, and Alexander Zaporozec. They formulated the process to certify competent and responsible professionals in the field of hydrology. AIH's goal was to strengthen the standing of hydrology as a science and as a profession.

They developed the procedure for insuring only persons with the education, integrity, character and training are certified. These standards are set out in the bylaws of the American Institute of Hydrology.

Hydrologists from all over the country desire an organization that raises the standard for all professionals. AIH does that.

Code of Ethics of American Institute of Hydrologist

The American Institute of Hydrology also established a Code of Ethics for its members. Members must adhere to the Code of Ethics in their practice of hydrology.

The following is taken from the AIH Code of Ethics. Members shall:

Hold above all the public trust and reputation of their professions, perform services only in the areas of their competence, and strive to enhance their qualifications through continuing education and professional development.

Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner, and endeavor to extend public knowledge and to prevent misunderstandings of the achievements of hydrological sciences.

Act in professional matters for each client or employer as faithful agents or trustees, and avoid conflict of interest.
Build their professional reputations on the merit of their services, and not compete unfairly with others.

Not only conduct their practices in accordance with this Code and the Rules but also bring to the attention of the Institute unethical practices of any other Member.


The American Institute of Hydrology Constitution states that one of the major purposes of AIH is "to establish and implement qualifications for the certification of Professional Hydrologists." The Institute has taken the lead in certification and is encouraging states to implement licenses for hydrologists.

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