Conventional approaches to water resource management based on the application of engineering techniques and sectoral interventions are prone to fail in delivering appropriate solutions to solve the critical problems of water in a changing world. Ecosystems and communities relying on groundwater or stream water are facing increasing pressure from land use, groundwater extraction and upstream water extraction. Both land use and climate change may induce adaptation responses in ecosystems that include modifications of composition and resource use. Many ecosystems also affect the exchange of mass and energy in the surface atmospheric layer with consequences for local and global climate, leading to possible feedbacks between their adaptation mechanisms and environmental change. In order to address some of the challenges posed by environmental change, we need new knowledge and models allowing to predict how soils, biological communities, biogeochemical cycles and water resources respond to changing boundary conditions. Furthermore, translation of this knowledge into appropriate management decisions requires a cross-cutting approach to water management that considers the economic and social context of water challenges.
This session draws together contributions that
- bridge ecohydrology studies with an understanding of the economic and social context of water challenges to enhance the practical application of the research for water resource managers and policy makers,
- discuss the challenges related to sharing water resources between upstream and downstream human and biological communities
- increase our understanding of the self-organisation and plasticity of ecosystems in response to changing boundary conditions, and/or
- extend existing approaches (e.g. the Budyko framework) to understand and predict components of the water balance under change.
Invited speakers: Graham Farquhar, Christopher Spray, Fubao Sun, Murugesu Sivapalan, Dawen Yang