In the fifth video of seven, Dr. Chris Hopkinson describes the opportunities of LiDAR in hydrological modelling. LiDAR currently may not be used for all these applications but the opportunity is present. GIS based flow routing from LiDAR does run into problems when roads and other transportation "barriers" are part of the watershed. Urban drainage networks also need extra information in addition to the LiDAR DEM. Ephemeral stream crossings can be identified from LiDAR; not so easy in the field. Contouring approaches misses topography under trees so LiDAR provides better watershed estimations. He finishes this with a short description of Alberta's wet areas mapping initiative.
Dr. Hopkinson's workshop presentation was part of the University of Lethbridge's LiDAR/SAR workshop, June 26, 27, 2014.