Dr. José D. Salas

Emeritus Professor

Dr. Jose SalasJosé D. Salas received his B.S. and C.E. degrees from the National University of Engineering of Lima, Perú. He specialized in water resources at Colorado State University (CSU), where he received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Dr. Salas has been Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at CSU during 1976-2011 and currently he is Professor Emeritus. He has about 45 years of experience in various aspects of water resources including hydrology, hydraulics, and water resources planning and management. Prior to joining CSU, Dr. Salas worked for the National Hydraulics Laboratory of Perú, the Irrigation Department of the Ministry of Agriculture of Perú, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Interamerican Center for Water and Land Development (CIDIAT), Venezuela. At CSU Dr. Salas was responsible for teaching and research in the general area of hydrology and water resources. He taught a number of undergraduate and graduate courses, organized and taught short courses and training programs, and supervised (advisor) of 43 M.S. and 37 Ph.D. students. Dr. Salas has been principal investigator of research projects related to: flood prediction, drought analysis and prediction, stochastic modeling and generation of hydrologic processes, water supply forecasting, prediction of short term rainfall, impacts of climatic changes on agriculture, modeling streamflow in arid regions, modeling and simulation of the Nile River System, modeling and simulation of the Great Lakes System, operation and safety studies of reservoir systems, and stochastic hydrology of the Colorado River system. These projects have been funded by national and international organizations such as the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Colorado Agricultural Experiment Station, NOAA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the World Bank. Additionally, Dr. Salas’ research includes developing mathematical models for predicting the breach of earth dams, the conceptual modeling of watershed processes, determining the uncertainty of reservoir sedimentation, quantifying the uncertainty of sediment load, and risk analysis and modeling of extreme events under nonstationary conditions. Dr. Salas has been consultant of several organizations such as the U.S. NSF; Northwest Hydraulics Consultants, Inc., Seattle, Washington; Resource Consultants Inc., Colorado; W.W. Wheeler and Associates, Englewood, Colorado; Wright Water Engineers, Denver, Colorado; West Coast Regional Water Supply Authority, Florida; AYRES Associates, Colorado; Riverside Technology Inc., Colorado; Tampa Bay Water, Florida; and MWH, Denver, Colorado. Likewise, Dr. Salas has been involved in research, teaching, and consulting activities for a number of international organizations such as UNESCO, AID, FAO, HydroQuebec (Montreal, Canada), ACRES International Ltd.(Niagara Falls, Canada), IICA, CIDIAT, Disaster Risk Management Inc., Nippon Koei Co., and the World Bank. International work experience includes countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Italy, Korea, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Dr. Salas has been a member of numerous professional societies including, The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), The American Geophysical Union (AGU), The American Water Resources Association, and The International Association of Hydraulic Research. He has been Associate Editor of the Journal of the Hydraulics Division of the ASCE, member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Hydrologic Engineering of ASCE, Revista del Agua of Spain, Ingenieria Hidraulica of Mexico, and Associate Editor of the Journal of Hydrology. He was awarded the 1996 Arid Lands Hydraulic Engineering Award from ASCE, the 1998 Abell Engineering Faculty Research Award from CSU College of Engineering, the 2003 CSU/AGU Hydrology Days Award, the 2004 Research Award from CSU Civil Engineering Dept., the 2005 Antorcha de Habich Award from the National University of Engineering, Lima, Peru, the 2009 Partners in Conservation Award by the U.S. Dep. of the Interior, and the 2010 V.T. Chow Award from ASCE. He is corresponding member of the Academy of Engineering of Mexico and the Academy of Engineering of Peru. He has written over 250 scientific and technical papers and reports, he is the main author of the book, “Applied Modeling of Hydrologic Time Series”, WRP, Colorado, 484 p., wrote Chapter 19, McGraw Hill Handbook of Hydrology, 1993, authored and co-authored several other chapters in books & handbooks, and has contributed to the development of the software SAMS (stochastic analysis, modeling and simulation).

Research Interests

  • Flood prediction
  • Drought characterization
  • Long range streamflow forecasting
  • Stochastic analysis and simulation of hydrologic processes
  • Risk analysis and modeling of extreme events under non-stationary conditions

Links to Other Information


  • B.S. 1965, National University of Engineering, LimaPeru – Civil Engineering-Hydraulic Eng
  • M.S. 1967, Colorado State University – Hydraulics
  • Ph.D. 1972, Colorado State University – Hydrology and Water Resources