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Advances in socio-hydrology
Convener: Marcus Nüsser  | Co-Conveners: Murugesu Sivapalan , Britta Höllermann , Giuliano Di Baldassarre , Alberto Viglione , Saket Pande 
 / Thu, 12 Apr, 08:30–10:00
 / Attendance Thu, 12 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Description: The research field of socio-hydrology emerged recently as an attempt to better understand the dynamic interactions and feedbacks within diverse coupled human-water systems and its implications for water resource management. While acknowledging that the human impact on natural processes has reached unprecedented levels, a period now often termed the Anthropocene, the socio-hydrological perspective provides for a comprehensive understanding of integrated water systems and aims to identify adequate solutions for water supply and management. Socio-hydrology offers novel entry points for a more fertile engagement between hydrological and social sciences across different scales ranging from the plot level to entire watersheds. Its interdisciplinary nature encompasses (and integrates) various methodological approaches and epistemologies: from the air (remote sensing), on the ground (empirical field studies) and in the laboratory (modelling) and from positivist thinking common in natural and engineering sciences and constructivist thinking common in social sciences.

The session therefore aims to trigger a discourse on understanding such systems at a diversity of scales with mutual recognition of different epistemologies within natural and social sciences. Examples of feedbacks include, but not limited to, economic forces such as agricultural or industrial production, diffusion or adoption of technology and knowledge such as water harvesting, community awareness such as emergence of environmental movements, values and norms etc. We welcome contributions from researchers from social and natural sciences who are keen to look beyond their research perspective and who like to discuss their research findings in a broader context of coupled human water systems, i.e. the subject matter of socio-hydrology.

Abstracts are solicited on topics that deal with planetary water boundary concepts, integrated assessment models (IAMs), water history and archaeology, sustainability of engineered river basins, water valuation (both monetary and non-monetary), urbanizing deltas etc with a focus on understanding feedbacks between human society and their environment and/or simulating plausible co-evolutionary dynamics that emerges into the future. Resulting policy insights for a sustainable future are equally welcomed. Coupled systems can be human-flood systems, human-infrastructure systems, human-irrigation systems, human-agricultural systems, human-delta systems etc. Papers of theoretical, conceptual or applied nature are solicited that 1) contribute to the understanding of complex human-water relations and their management, and that 2) discuss the benefits and shortcomings based on empirical, conceptual or model-based research and disciplinary perspective.

This session is jointly developed with the framework of the Panta Rhei Research Initiative of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) under the working group of “Socio-hydrological modeling and synthesis”.