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Being Bayesian: Discussions from the Perspectives of Stakeholders and Hydrologists

Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Water 2020, 12(2), 461; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020461
Received: 19 December 2019 / Revised: 4 February 2020 / Accepted: 5 February 2020 / Published: 9 February 2020
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.
Keywords: hydrology; modeling; decision-support; uncertainty; measurement optimization hydrology; modeling; decision-support; uncertainty; measurement optimization
MDPI and ACS Style

Ferre, T.P. Being Bayesian: Discussions from the Perspectives of Stakeholders and Hydrologists. Water 2020, 12, 461.

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