The continuing growth and concentration of population and industry in urban and suburban areas in recent decades has caused a complex merging of social, economic, and physical problems, The interrelationships of man and his use and development of the land and water resources is a particularly significant aspect of urbanization, but there has been relatively little study to date of the effect of urban man upon natural hydrologic conditions.
As urban man changes an area from one of field and forest to one of buildings and streets, he covers land where water once entered the soil, and thus creates or aggravates problems of drainage, including storm-water runoff. As he requires increasing amounts of water for home and factory, he drills deeper wells, and builds longer aqueducts and larger dams and reservoirs. As he disposes of un- wanted waste materials, he either treats them by using water or pollutes the receiving body of water. As he dredges and deepens coastal streams carrying salt water, and he pumps greater quantities of water from wells in coastal areas, he increases the likelihood of salt-water contamination. These and many other urban effects upon hydrology deserve increasing study if we are to provide for the best use of the water and land resources available to the Nation's urban centers.