Advances in sociohydrology

Sociohydrology aims to better understand the dynamic interactions and feedbacks in human-water systems as well as their implications for the assessment and management of water resources and hydrological risks. While acknowledging that the human impact on natural processes has reached unprecedented levels, the sociohydrological perspective provides for a comprehensive understanding of integrated water systems and aims to identify adequate solutions for water supply, management, and adaptation to risk.

Sociohydrology 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, epistemologies, and disciplines.

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 and the spatial and temporal dynamics between human society (from individuals to global levels) 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 should 1) contribute to the understanding of complex human-water relations and their management, 2) discuss the benefits and shortcomings based on empirical, conceptual or model-based research and disciplinary perspective; and 3) shed light on the added value of socio-hydrological modelling for risk-based decision making and adaptation design. This session is jointly developed with the framework of the Panta Rhei Research Initiative of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS).

Convener: Giuliano Di Baldassarre | Co-conveners: Mohammad GhoreishiECSECS, Britta HöllermannECSECS, Melanie Rohse, Murugesu Sivapalan
vPICO presentations
| Wed, 28 Apr, 13:30–15:00 (CEST)

vPICO presentations: Wed, 28 Apr

Chairpersons: Giuliano Di Baldassarre, Britta Höllermann, Melanie Rohse
Gemma Carr, Marlies Barendrecht, Liza Debevec, and Bedru Balana

The variety of demands that people place on water resources, coupled with the dynamics of the natural system, make water resource management highly complex. Models that can integrate aspects of society such as institutions, perceptions and behaviors along with aspects of the natural system such as rainfall, runoff and water quality could offer a realistic approach to better understand and manage these complex systems. Much research progress in the development of such socio-hydrological models has been achieved in recent years. However, many gaps exist on how the decisions and actions of institutions and agencies, and their subsequent impacts on individuals, can be integrated within such models. In this study, a socio-hydrological model was developed using a set of empirical field data from the Black Volta (Mouhoun) watershed in south west Burkina Faso. Cultivation of the riparian zones and use of agrochemicals are commonly associated with increased sedimentation in the river and water pollution, respectively. The model aims to capture the relationships between agency support for water quality management, the capacity of local organizations to support farmers and land users, land use changes in the riparian zones, improved agricultural practices employed by farmers (e.g., reduced tillage, organic farming, or cultivating tree crops rather than vegetables), and suspended sediment concentration in the river as an indicator of water quality. The model is set up to reflect the current situation and scenarios are generated depicting plausible pathways to achieve improved water quality through riparian land management strategies. Comparison of the modelled scenarios shows that water quality could be improved if institutional support and public resource allocation for water management is raised, and the capacity of local level organizations is substantially increased compared to current levels. Semi-quantitative socio-hydrological models, such as the one developed in this study, may provide insights for the comparison and prioritization of different management strategies and guide interventions or support mechanisms that enable riparian land users to change their agricultural practices and lead to water quality improvements.

How to cite: Carr, G., Barendrecht, M., Debevec, L., and Balana, B.: Integrating institutions into a socio-hydrological model: an example for water quality management in Burkina Faso, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-11324, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-11324, 2021.

Behshad Mohajer, David Yu, Marco Janssen, and Margaret Garcia

Hydrological systems in the Anthropocene have shown substantial shifts from their natural processes due to human modifications. Consequently, deploying coupled human-water modeling is a critical tool to analyze observed changes. However, the development of socio-hydrological models often requires extensive qualitative data collection in the field and analysis. Despite the advances in developing inter-disciplinary methodologies in utilizing qualitative data for coupled human-water modeling, there is a need to identify influential parameters in these systems to inform data collection. Here, we present an exploratory socio-hydrological model to systemically investigate the feedback system of public infrastructure providers, resource users, and the dynamics of water scarcity at the catchment scale to inform data collection and analysis in the field. Specifically, we propose a novel socio-hydrological model by employing and integrating a top-down hydrological model and an extension of Aqua.MORE Model (an Agent-Based Model designed to simulate dynamics of water supply and demand). Specifically, we model alternate behavioral theories of human decision-making to represent the agents’ behavior. Then, we perform sensitivity analysis techniques to identify key socio-economic and behavioral parameters affecting emergence patterns in a stylized human-dominated catchment. We apply the proposed methodology to the Lake Mendocino Watershed in Northern California, US. The results will potentially point which parameters are influential and how they could be mapped to a particular interview or survey question. This study will help us to identify features of decision-making behavior for inclusion in fieldwork, that be might be overlooked in the absence of the proposed modeling. We anticipate that the proposed approach also contributes to the current Panta Rhei Research Initiative of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) which aims at improving the interpretation of the hydrological processes governing the socio-hydrological systems by focusing on their changing dynamics in connection with rapidly changing human systems.

How to cite: Mohajer, B., Yu, D., Janssen, M., and Garcia, M.: Model Informed Data Collection in Coupled Human-Water Systems: An Exploratory Application of a Hydrological and Agent-Based Model, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13825, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13825, 2021.

Lukas Schoppa, Marlies Barendrecht, Tobias Sieg, Nivedita Sairam, and Heidi Kreibich

Sociohydrological models are increasingly used in flood risk analysis to reveal and understand the temporal dynamics in coupled human-flood systems. While most sociohydrological flood risk models are stylized and describe hypothetical human-flood systems, very few recent case studies employ empirical data to investigate real world systems. The mathematical representation of flooding processes in these models is often simplistic and does not reflect the current state of knowledge. This is due to the intricacy of human-flood interactions and the lack of sufficient and suitable historical data.

We augment an existing, parsimonious sociohydrological flood risk model with a process-oriented flood loss model to integrate better understanding of flood damage processes into a sociohydrological modeling framework. Using Bayesian inference, we simulate the co-evolution of the flood risk system for companies located at the river Elbe in Dresden, Germany, over the course of 120 years. We compare model versions with differently complex process description on the basis of their loss prediction accuracy and uncertainty. This allows for exploring the added value of (i) resolving the inundation and damage process with more detail and (ii) accounting for heterogeneity across economic sectors. Apart from historical sociohydrological data, the proposed, augmented model versions are informed by object-level loss data, inundation maps, and spatial data, enhancing the pool of information available to the model. A leave-one-out cross-validation experiment shows that the augmented model versions increase the precision and reduce the uncertainty of company flood loss predictions in Dresden. In addition, the augmented models provide reliable loss predictions even in the absence of extensive historical flood loss data.

The demonstrated model augmentation concept is not limited to the flood damage process but could be transferred to other processes within the human-flood system. For instance, by incorporating a dedicated model from protection motivation theory that describes how flood awareness and preparedness change after the occurrence of a damaging flood event.

How to cite: Schoppa, L., Barendrecht, M., Sieg, T., Sairam, N., and Kreibich, H.: Augmenting a Sociohydrological Flood Risk Model for Companies with Process-oriented Loss Estimation, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-10064, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-10064, 2021.

Dengxiao Lang and Maurits W. Ertsen

In order to explore possibilities of mimicking the operation of an irrigation system under varied scenarios, the authors have designed the Irrigation-Related Agent-Based Model (IRABM), providing a platform for integrating human and non-human agents (water managers, farmers, barley, river, canals, and gates) together and analyzing the interactions among these agents. IRABM illustrates how barley yields respond to varied irrigation strategies and how patterns of yields vary among the levels of individual farmers, canals, and the whole irrigation system. The model proves how this type of theoretically and empirically informed computer model can be used to develop new insights into studying and simulating interactions between individuals and their environment in an irrigation system. Furthermore, it demonstrates how and why irrigation and yield patterns can emerge from changing actions.

One of the applications of the model will be for ancient Southern Mesopotamia, the pluvial land between the two rivers Euphrates and Tigris. Our knowledge of irrigation management and irrigated-landscapes in southern Mesopotamia fairly scant due to lack of data, but also because attention for the details of irrigation management has been ignored in archaeological analysis to date. IRABM offers options to synchronize the general features of irrigation systems to the specifics of Mesopotamia. How to represent ancient Mesopotamia in IRABM is the key question we address in this paper.

Given the low precipitation, the available water in Mesopotamia’s watercourses for cultivation was vital. This prompted the establishment of irrigated agriculture, leading to its sophisticated irrigation systems over time. Management of irrigation activities is both related to water volumes in the different (levels of) water courses, and to the size of a system. Because of the expanding Mesopotamian society, and this its irrigated areas, the unpredictable water availability, and the threat of water scarcity during the crop growing period, coordinating issues were critical.

How to present ancient Mesopotamian irrigation systems in IRABM and how to fully explore the temporal and spatial coordination issues is our current challenge. Using the standard composition of irrigation systems in the primary canal, secondary canals, and tertiary canals, we can draft sizes of these levels. The cultivated size of agricultural land varied among the different levels of canals. Generally, the primary canal would supply 5 to 6 villages, while the second and tertiary canals might irrigate land in 2 to 3 villages and 1 village, respectively. The main crops were winter crops (barley and wheat). The water regimes of the two rivers are characterized by great, rather unpredictable fluctuations that do not coincide with winter crops.

This presentation will discuss how the data on ancient Mesopotamian irrigation (including water availability in rivers, canals, and fields, and surface areas of irrigated landscapes) can be meaningfully included in an ABM that allows studying how small/short processes contribute to large-scale patterns and processes occurring in irrigation systems.

How to cite: Lang, D. and W. Ertsen, M.: Representing ancient southern Mesopotamia irrigated landscapes in an agent-based model, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1788, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-1788, 2021.

Joel Z. Harms, Julien J. Malard, and Jan F. Adamowski

Effective and sustainable decision making in water resources management often requires modelling techniques that are able to account for the inherent complexity of coupled human-water systems. One approach that is used to model coupled human-water systems is to couple physically based models and system dynamics models. However, in many cases, this type of model coupling is labour-intensive and time-consuming, which can hinder its routine use in modeling and decision making.

Tinamït, a Python package, is an application programming interface (API) that provides definitions of functions and objects that simplify, in this case, coupled model building. Tinamït supports automatic SD model wrapping and coupling to specialized physically-based models, which makes it particularly useful for coupled human-water systems modelling. In this research, a connection between SWAT+ (a FORTRAN-based hydrological model) and the Tinamït API is established through model wrapping. This wrapping approach takes advantage of both the agility of sockets and the wide applicability of JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) to transmit data between FORTRAN and Python routines at runtime. Any model that runs in SWAT+ can now be automatically coupled to SD models through the Tinamït API, without the need for extensive programming, therefore facilitating wider application of coupled modelling techniques for integrated policy development and decision making in the field of coupled human-water systems.

How to cite: Harms, J. Z., Malard, J. J., and Adamowski, J. F.: Dynamic Coupling of SWAT+ with System Dynamics Models using Tinamït and a Socket Based Protocol, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6731, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-6731, 2021.

Prajna Kasargodu Anebagilu, Jörg Dietrich, Lisette Prado Stuardo, Bruno Morales, Etti Winter, and Jose Luis Arumi

An innovative socio-hydrological modeling framework for the development of environmental policies tailored to farmers' attitudes and economic interests is proposed with the inclusion of optimal environmental criteria. It focuses on modeling the complex relation of farmers, the environment, and the agricultural practices recommended by policy developers. An on-site survey of farmers is used to develop a behavior model based on a modified Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). An agent-based model (ABM) is coupled with an agro-hydrological model for vegetative filter strips (VFS) to create dynamics of the social and environmental system.

The farmers from the Larqui river basin, Chile took part in the survey to understand their standpoint on the use of VFS to reduce soil loss in their agricultural fields and protect water bodies. The farmers were categorized into perceptive, proactive, bounded rational and interactive agents based on their answers to the survey. This categorization along with decision rules, and utility functions of agricultural activities including the VFS implementation and management are used to develop an ABM. Partial least square structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) is used to analyze the modified TPB of farmers. Behavioral morality, behavioral willingness, knowledge of farmers showed a significant effect on modeling the intention and behavior of farmers to have VFS in their land. Subjective norm was the only construct that was not significant. The results of the ABM validate with the survey of the farmers. It shows that the decision on the width of VFS is not solely dependent on the utility generated and the reduction in soil losses but also on the behavior of farmers. This behavioral socio-hydrological modeling framework is capable of supporting policy-makers in developing tailored environmental policies that might improve the acceptance of sustainable agricultural practices by farmers.

How to cite: Kasargodu Anebagilu, P., Dietrich, J., Prado Stuardo, L., Morales, B., Winter, E., and Arumi, J. L.: Application of the theory of planned behavior with agent-based modeling for sustainable management of vegetative filter strips, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-5686, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-5686, 2021.

Julien Malard, Jan Adamowski, Héctor Tuy, and Hugo Melgar-Quiñonez

Systems dynamics modelling is often used as a participatory modelling tool to model the long-term dynamics of socio-ecological systems, as well as to help in developing integrated policy decisions that take into account the unexpected and complex system behaviours that are often caused by the dynamic feedbacks between ecology and society. Actual use of these models in decision-making is, however, hindered by the frequent lack of high-quality temporal data on many key socioeconomic (and environmental) variables, which makes the application of traditional system dynamics model evaluation techniques difficult. This situation is particularly pronounced in the context of many Indigenous communities around the world, regions where improved access to decision support tools such as system dynamics modelling could be of particular use for supporting communities in their quest to make (and have implemented) their own resource management decisions. In the absence of rigorous quantification methods, however, these models are difficult to build and trust.

In this research, we present a novel methodology for calibrating hard-to-quantify relationships between socioeconomic variables of systems dynamics models. Based on hierarchical Bayesian inference, the methodology allows for the use of spatially explicit (but temporally poor) datasets to infer the quantitative, numerical relationships between socioeconomic variables, even when data in the precise region of interest is very scarce. We present, as a case study, a system dynamics model of small-scale agricultural systems and food security in two different regions of Guatemala (Tz'olöj Ya' and K'iche'), and analyse the impacts of different proposed policies in the face of socioeconomic shocks and water stress due to projected climate change. The hierarchical Bayesian inference calibration method allowed for the inference of key socioeconomic parameter values in a spatially explicit context to compensate for data scarcity, while spatial validation indicated which regions of the country the model was appropriate for.

Such a methodology, once incorporated into user-friendly system dynamics software, has the potential to facilitate participatory sociohydrological modelling even in quite data-scarce regions where modellers, up until now, have had to rely on educated guesses for the majority of the model's calibration.

How to cite: Malard, J., Adamowski, J., Tuy, H., and Melgar-Quiñonez, H.: Hierarchical Bayesian inference and spatial validation of socio-ecological system dynamics models: participatory modelling for Indigenous smallholder agriculture and food security in Guatemala, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6766, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-6766, 2021.

Poornima Nagesh, Hugo J. de boer, Stefan C. Dekker, and Detlef P. van Vuuren

Water is an essential resource for human life and the environment. The widespread use of chemicals in daily life has led to significant water quality concerns. During the production phase, the use phase as well as after use, (residues of) these chemicals can enter the environment and water systems. Furthermore, the use and production of chemicals are increasing rapidly, driven by mainly population growth, urbanisation and economic growth. Increased use leads to further emissions of chemicals to water, posing significant water quality concerns. Henceforth there is an urgent need to understand the linkage between society and production and consumption of chemicals to explore possible changes in water quality.

Socio-economic scenario analysis is a useful tool to investigate the long-term consequences of future change and mitigation options. While scenarios have been broadly applied to understand air pollution, this not yet the case for chemical pollution to surface waters. In this work, we propose a general framework to develop scenarios for the future emissions of chemicals to water by using the Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSP). The framework follows the basic elements of the scenario development process by defining the current system, describe the changes in emissions with scenario drivers and elaboration to the future. The framework is then tested on a set of selected ‘example’ chemicals that represent broader chemical groups of pharmaceuticals (Ibuprofen and Diclofenac), pesticides (Terbuthylazine) and industrial chemicals (Cadmium and Di-ethyl phthalate). Chemical emissions to water over the past years were used to understand their yearly trends and patterns over the European countries. Lastly, the emission scenarios for chemicals for 2050 were developed by using SSP drivers from the IMAGE Integrated assessment model as an input to the empirical emission models. The three SSP scenarios: SSP1 ("Sustainability"), SSP2 ("Middle of the Road") and SSP3 ("Regional Rivalry") focusing on Europe were included. Additionally, the developed scenarios also describe mitigation efforts.

The results of emission scenarios displayed an increase in emissions up to 2050 for the exemplary chemicals in Western Europe for all three scenarios SSP1, SSP2 and SSP3. While the emissions of chemicals linearly decreased in Eastern Europe for the same period. SSP3 showed the highest emissions in 2050 except for cadmium emissions from wastewater treatment plants. The results showed that the framework helps in understanding the possible influence of socio-economic changes on use and emissions of chemicals which can be a part of future risk assessments. While the framework can be extended similarly to other pharmaceuticals and pesticides, it requires a detailed understanding of complex emission sources for industrial chemicals.

How to cite: Nagesh, P., J. de boer, H., C. Dekker, S., and P. van Vuuren, D.: Development of scenarios for future emissions of chemicals from agricultural, industrial and urban systems, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1672, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-1672, 2021.

Marlies H Barendrecht, Alberto Viglione, Heidi Kreibich, and Günter Blöschl

Long term dynamics in human-flood systems differ due to differences in hydrological and societal characteristics. By contrasting and comparing different human-flood systems we increase our understanding of which characteristics lead to which dynamics, which might help to counteract unfavorable developments. We propose a framework for comparing human-flood systems analogous to the Budyko one for traditional catchment hydrology. While in the Budyko framework catchments are classified as either water limited or energy limited, in the framework proposed here the human-flood systems are classified as either hydrology limited or exposure limited. In analogy to the precipitation, potential evapotranspiration and actual evapotranspiration components of the Budyko space we formulate the components of the “flood risk space” as hydrological potential loss, manmade potential loss and actual flood loss. The framework is applied to four stylised theoretical systems, investigating how their position in the flood risk space may change under the influence of hydrological, technical and demographic changes. Results show that hydrological changes have the largest effect on a system’s position in the flood risk space: with an increasing skewness and CV systems become more hydrology limited. The framework’s value for comparing empirical case studies is demonstrated through an application to two case studies in Germany: Dresden on the Elbe and Cologne on the Rhine. The framework allows us to identify the differences in dynamics between the two case studies, as they are located in different areas of the flood risk space. The difference in dynamics between the Dresden and Cologne systems seems to be mostly caused by the hydrological parameters (i.e. the skewness) rather than the social parameters. The flood frequency distribution is more skewed in the case of the Elbe in Dresden than in the case of the Rhine in Cologne. Therefore, Dresden experiences more shocks to the system (i.e. unexpectedly large floods) than Cologne.

How to cite: Barendrecht, M. H., Viglione, A., Kreibich, H., and Blöschl, G.: A Budyko-like framework for exploring the controls of long-term flood risk in coupled human-flood systems, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6266, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-6266, 2021.

Case studies
Sukrati Gautam, Apoorva Singh, and Chandrika Thulaseedharan Dhanya

Floods are a recurrent natural phenomenon in the Brahmaputra basin, India’s one of the major river basin. The government employed flood mitigation strategies that have mainly been focused on structural measures that involve the construction of dams, embankments, dykes, and anti-erosion structures. Consequently, the economic investments in Flood Protection Structures (FPS) have significantly increased over time. However, despite significant FPS investments, the socio-economic losses due to floods are reportedly intensifying. In this study on coupled human flood systems, our aim is to resolve this paradox through a stepwise methodology. Firstly, land use land cover (LULC) changes are investigated before and after the completion of 74 FPS units, constructed over the past two decades. The proximity to settlement used as a proxy measure of socio-economic characteristics shows a consistent land-use growth pattern. Secondly, a socio-vulnerability index (SoVI) is developed based on the population density, distance from the river, vegetation, soil type, and LULC changes. Furthermore, SoVI maps are developed by integrating the weighted maps of the above socio-economic factors. A significant increase in the socio-economic vulnerability is observed in the floodplains of Brahmaputra, possibly due to the provision of a false sense of security. This study, hence, establishes a causal relationship between the increase in social vulnerability index and the increased FPS investments. These results are expected to help the stakeholders to identify the critical characteristics that escalate the social vulnerability in the flood plains and thereby to strategize the investments in FPS.

How to cite: Gautam, S., Singh, A., and Dhanya, C. T.: Increased Socio-economic Vulnerability in the Floodplains of Brahmaputra Basin, India, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-3193, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-3193, 2021.

Louise Cavalcante, Germano Ribeiro Neto, Art Dewulf, Pieter van Oel, and Francisco Souza Filho

Interactions between society and water are complex, socio-hydrological systems are influenced by policies, which rarely are a simple linear response with the aim of providing the most efficient solution. In drought contexts, a new layer of complexity is added, considering the different uncertainties involved, related to the rainfall season, or the duration of multi-year drought events. We utilized the Multiple Streams Approach (MSA) theory to answer the following question: how do multi-year droughts function as focusing events? Focusing events may trigger greater attention to problems and solutions because they increase the likelihood that more organized interests, including some that are influential and powerful, could advocate policy change. MSA seeks to explain how policy changes. It assumes the policy change happens when three separate streams interact: (1) the problem stream, involving the emergence or recognition of a problem by society; (2) the policy stream, containing policy ideas and alternatives generated by specialists, researchers, politicians, and social actors; and (3) the politics stream, referring to the political, administrative, and legislative context favorable or unfavorable to developing certain actions to overcome the problem. The justification to apply the MSA lenses in this is study is to understand the influences of multi-year drought events as a focusing event that triggered the process of policy change considering the subnational context of Ceará state in Brazil. In this study, the following methodological procedures were used: (a) historical overview of drought occurrence and the policy responses in Ceará; (b) data processing of hydrologic records (rainfall). We found three main different policy approaches to drought impacts: reactive, proactive, and drought preparedness policies. We found in some cases that multi-year droughts served as focusing events that opened windows of opportunities, triggering policy response changes, such as, collaboration, new problem framing, and increased political attention. Our findings have implications for the socio-hydrology field, as there is still significant scope for increasing the understanding of the influences of public policies in the context of coupled-humans systems, especially in the context of drought. 

How to cite: Cavalcante, L., Ribeiro Neto, G., Dewulf, A., van Oel, P., and Souza Filho, F.: A multiple streams analysis of drought policies in Ceará state, Brazil, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13225, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13225, 2021.

Silvia Schrötter, Jed Kaplan, Matthias Schmidt, and Peter Fiener

Irrigation is vital for humans, critical in the management of land and water resources, and functions as an important environmental forcing. While irrigation systems are largely framed by environmental conditions, actual irrigation activities are determined by human decision-making. The types of irrigation systems can vary in technology and management and in turn influence water resources and the hydrological cycle differently. To date we lack an understanding of the drivers of establishing different irrigation systems in the Sudanian Savanna ecoregion of West Africa, and how land use decisions are made at the farm level. Insights on decision-making in water management contribute to the understanding of anthropogenic impacts on human-water systems and can help to identify strategies to adapt to ongoing and future risks. This paper aims to identify the heterogeneity of irrigation systems in our study region, and their drivers, as well as provide a qualitative assessment of their sustainability. Here we systematically analyze literature published between 1980 and 2020 which provide evidence of irrigation activities in the study area, we selected 188 publications documenting more than 100 cases of irrigation. For each study we identify each type of irrigation system, as defined by the water source, lifting and distribution type. We then clustered each case into ‘driver types’ based on external conditions, required resources, irrigation season, proximate causes and utilization. To assess the sustainability we identified environmental, governance, social and economic variables which we then coded on a 5-point Likert-scale. Our results show that irrigation systems in the West African Sudan Savanna are highly diversified in terms of techniques and organization, but that drivers are relatively similar. The decision making and management within an irrigation system is strongly influenced by its organizational structure. The type of technology depends on the available capital, and again impacts the efficiency, longevity and environmental impact of irrigation systems. We observed that economic factors, the access to water sources and markets, as well as restricted female technology adoption constrain the potential of existing irrigation schemes. The main causes to irrigate are to provide food security and raise more income in order to adapt to climate change and to increasing demands due to population growth. We detected that the cases are largely located in or in the vicinity of formal irrigation schemes. There is an increase in irrigation schemes in the study region over time, however, we found little information on why irrigation is not more widely adapted compared to similar ecoregions such as southern India, despite the growing demand. In respect of India, irrigation in West Africa is relatively new. We conclude that further research on organizational structures, and financial support can contribute to a sustainable expansion of irrigation in the West African Sudan Savanna.

How to cite: Schrötter, S., Kaplan, J., Schmidt, M., and Fiener, P.: A meta-analysis of the drivers of irrigation in the West African Sudan Savanna, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-14975, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-14975, 2021.

Elena Mondino, Anna Scolobig, Marco Borga, and Giuliano Di Baldassarre

Numerous scholars have unravelled the complexities and underlying uncertainties of coupled human and water systems in various fields and disciplines. These complexities, however, are not always reflected in the way in which the dynamics of human-water systems are modelled. One reason is the lack of social data times series, that may be provided by longitudinal surveys. Here, we show the value of collecting longitudinal survey data to enrich sociohydrological modelling of flood risk. To illustrate, we compare and contrast two different approaches (repeated cross-sectional and panel) for collecting longitudinal data, and explore changes in flood risk awareness and preparedness in a municipality hit by a flash flood in 2018. We found that risk awareness has not changed significantly in the timeframe under study (one year). Perceived preparedness also did not change, but we observed differences related to damage severity. More precisely, preparedness increased only among those respondents who suffered low damages during the flood event. We also found gender differences across both approaches for most of the variables explored. Lastly, we argue that results that are consistent across the two approaches constitute robust data that can be used for the parametrisation of sociohydrological models. Moreover, we posit that there is a need to improve socio-demographic heterogeneity in modelling human-water systems in order to better support risk management.

How to cite: Mondino, E., Scolobig, A., Borga, M., and Di Baldassarre, G.: Longitudinal Survey Data Call For Diversifying Temporal Dynamics In Modelling Human-Water Systems, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-90, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-90, 2021.

Rosa María Dextre, María Luisa Eschenhagen, Mirtha Camacho, Sally Rangecroft, Laurence Couldrick, Caroline Clason, and Sergio Morera

Increasing pressures on ecosystems in the Latin American region as well as the adoption of multilateral conservation commitments have led to the implementation of instruments that are economic in nature but oriented towards the recovery, conservation, and functioning of ecosystems. The increasing adoption of schemes such as payment for ecosystem services (PES) has emerged as multilateral strategies to address water security problems in the mountain regions of Perú. However, their design and implementation can face many barriers when the policy is translated into practice in a local context. Socio-economic processes and hydro-climatic factors are affecting the capacity of the ecosystems of the glaciated Cordillera Blanca (Peruvian Andes) to provide water services, in terms of both, quality and quantity, to the main users of the Santa River basin. This study thus aims to analyze how the hydro-social relations affect, and are affected by, the introduction of water-related PES in the Quillcay sub-basin, one of the most populated sub-basin along the Santa River basin. The water metabolism approach was used to characterize water as a service produced by ecological systems (water as an ecological fund) and co-produced by social systems (water as a social flow). For this purpose, a classification of the different social and ecological uses and meanings of water was used, as well as the role of the different actors involved. 

Based on the combination of primary data, both from an urban citizens survey (Huaraz) and semi-structured interviews with different actors, and from secondary sources, we present evidence that the metabolic pattern of water in the upper Santa basin is impacted not only by the glacial meltwater and rainwater regime but also by political, economic and cultural power relations over water. Thus, the implementation of a PES policy in the upper Santa basin affects and is affected by, ecological and social dimensions of water. In the ecological dimension, glacial retreat makes the design of a water-related PES more complex. In the social dimension, some socio-political processes, such as the lack of experience and the limited technical and financial capacity of public water management institutions to carry out these processes, as well as the lack of political will of regional and local authorities to promote them, are affecting the way these PES schemes are implemented. Along with these institutional bottlenecks, local socio-cultural processes related to a lack of interest in participating and demanding to participate in these decision-making processes could result in the design of a mechanism in which not all stakeholders benefit equally. This raises the need to recognize the multi-dimensional nature of water in the design and implementation of policies, and the importance of identifying processes and barriers which affect the success of these policies.

How to cite: Dextre, R. M., Eschenhagen, M. L., Camacho, M., Rangecroft, S., Couldrick, L., Clason, C., and Morera, S.: Payment for Ecosystem Services policies in Peru: assessing the social and ecological dimensions of water services in the upper Santa River basin , EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-13540, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-13540, 2021.

Chang Liu, Akiyuki Kawasaki, and Tomoko Shiroyama

As the longest river in Asia, the Yangtze River has shown its impact on human societies with floods recorded since 12th century. In 1931, the Yangtze River has manifested its force again with one of the deadliest floods ever recorded in Chinese history, causing 422,499 casualties, damages to more than 25.2 million people and 58.7 billion m2 farmland. The impact of the 1931 flood, resulting in the increment of rice price, has remained till 1933. Researches on the 1931 flood damage has shown its direct causation including political corruption, technical backwardness, and meteorological abnormality. However, in a long-term period, it is still unclear if the change of society has intensified the vulnerability of flood or some hydrological extremes has accelerated the social transformations. Here we propose a conceptual socio-hydrological framework within which the mutual influence between society and water system is analyzed. To address the issue of data scarcity, we applied the Water and Energy Budget-based Distributed Hydrological Model (WEB-DHM) to reconstruct the hydrological conditions in the early 20th century of China, based on which the potential rice production was estimated. With the reconstructed data, we found that the change of the social structure of villages aggravated the vulnerability of agricultural production towards natural hazards, and hydrological extremes speeded-up such structure change. Our results demonstrate how reconstructed data is likely to help comprehend a socio-hydrology system under a conceptual framework, shedding light on the inner correlation of a pre-industrial society like the early 20th century of China. We anticipate our study to be a starting point for more sophisticated socio-hydrological models, which will likely to be applicable to many other regions and times.

How to cite: Liu, C., Kawasaki, A., and Shiroyama, T.: The interaction between society changes and hydrological extremes: the case of Yangtze River Basin, before and after the 1931 flood, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-2482, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-2482, 2021.

Aliya Assubayeva, Stefanos Xenarios, Albina Li, and Siamac Fazli

Water security in Central Asia (CA) plays a vital role because of transboundary river systems and interconnected infrastructure assets. Each CA country has differently contextualized the water security notion to serve national priorities and needs. Various scholars have studied and interpreted the concept of water security in CA through economic, environmental, social, and technical perspectives. Yet however, there is very little information on the perceptions of policymakers and water professionals that are directly engaged with the water policy discourse in the CA region.

In this regard, we attempted to identify policy makers and water professionals' views on water management and security aspects in CA.  A Delphi method was introduced through a two-round survey to decision-makers and water professionals to assess the rate of agreement on different water security dimensions that have been identified through a thorough literature review.

Namely, the dimensions associated with urban & household facilities, economic activities, environmental aspects and natural hazards were assessed, whereas different attributes related to each dimension were also considered. The first survey round explored the rate of agreement in the following six different sections: the proposed water security dimensions (1) and attributes (2) in CA; historical trends and dynamics of each dimension (3) and the implications on a policy level (4); the national priorities for each country (5); and the effectiveness of mechanisms dealing with regional water security issues (6).  The second round synopsized the initial findings by exploring whether a higher agreement rate was attained in each of the sections mentioned above.

 Clustering analysis was applied to better identify the agreement rate and assess decision-makers and water professionals' behavioral patterns within the two-survey rounds.  A number of clustering techniques were tested out. Methods such as K-Medoids, Spectral, Hierarchical, and Agglomerative clustering, as well as the Affinity Propagation, were applied. Hyperparameters were chosen based on the observations of how well the clusters are formed, i.e., how similar the responses are within the cluster and how much they differ from other clusters. The clustering was applied to the whole range of responses, as well as separately on different sections of the surveys.  

The findings indicate that the clustering of all six parts did not clearly define separation and distinctive agreement rates in the first survey round. However, when the clustering was performed within specific sections, e.g., the national priorities in each country, behavioral patterns were revealed among respondents. The clustering trends among sections became more apparent in the second survey round.  Our preliminary findings indicate that a set of socio-demographic and professional-related features of the participants are aligned with the patterns of the clustering outcomes on water security priorities in CA. The study findings could identify the major challenges that policymakers and water professionals face being mutually addressed by improving water security dialogue in the CA region.

How to cite: Assubayeva, A., Xenarios, S., Li, A., and Fazli, S.: Assessing Water Security in Central Asia through a Delphi Approach, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1472, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-1472, 2021.

Viviana Re, Paul Hynds, Theresa Frommen, and Shrikant Limaye

Socio-hydrogeology has been recently proposed as a new approach in the field of human-water research, focusing on the assessment of the reciprocity between people and groundwater. Notwithstanding some obvious similarities with socio-hydrology, there are notable, and indeed important differences; while socio-hydrology aims to investigate and understand the dynamic interactions and feedbacks between (surface)water and people, due to the more private and local nature of groundwater in many instances, socio-hydrogeology seeks to understand individuals and communities as a primary source, pathway and receptor for potable groundwater supplies, including the role of (local) knowledge, beliefs, risk perception, tradition/history, and consumption. In essence, the “socio” in socio-hydrology might be said to represent society, while its counterpart within socio-hydrogeology embodies sociology, including social, cognitive, behavioural and socio-epidemiological science. Moreover, while socio-hydrology tends towards examination of human-water interactions at relatively larges scales via coupled modelling, socio-hydrogeology is often focused at a significantly smaller scale (e.g. individual household or community supplies), and as such, employs a wide range of mixed methods, including modelling, albeit to a lesser degree. Being at its early development stage, the discipline is still being defined and formalized. Nevertheless, several researchers are currently implementing this approach worldwide.

By presenting a comparative analysis of the approaches and outcomes from several socio-hydrogeological studies undertaken across a range of socio-demographic and climatic regions including Canada, Italy, India, Ireland, Myanmar and Tunisia, this presentation will highlight the benefits and shortcomings of going beyond classical hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical investigations targeted to assess the impact of human activities on groundwater quality and quantity, and indeed, the effects of these impacts on associated individuals and communities (i.e. humans frequently represent the issue, the receptor and the solution). By shedding light on the added value of understanding the cause-effect relations between people and the hidden component of the water cycle (e.g. to jointly assess how scarce and polluted groundwater affect human/social wellbeing), socio-hydrogeology can provide evidence-based solutions to regionally bespoke problems. Similarly, otherwise neglected local or regional information can add value to scientific outcomes and contribute to foster new groundwater management actions tailored on the needs of local populations as well as on the overall achievement of long-term sustainability. Socio-hydrogeology can therefore provide new insights useful for socio-hydrological modelling, and, together, they can effectively underpin successful Integrated Water Resources Management plans at local and regional scale. Perhaps most importantly, it is hoped that by initiating discussion between practitioners of both sub-disciplines, experiences, expertise and perspectives can be shared and employed (e.g. more “technical” modelling within socio-hydrogeology, increased integration of “non-expert” knowledge within socio-hydrology) in order to bolster both areas of study, with an overarching objective of protecting the entire hydrological cycle, and the people supplied and impacted by it.

How to cite: Re, V., Hynds, P., Frommen, T., and Limaye, S.: Socio-Hydrogeology: uncovering the hidden connections within the Human-Groundwater Cycle, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-493, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-493, 2021.

Mohammadreza Alizadeh, Jan Adamowski, and Azhar Inam

Climate change has caused many environmental problems, as well as water and food insecurity, and health and social impacts in many parts of the world, and especially in the world’s vulnerable regions such as developing countries. Studies have demonstrated the impacts of socio-economic and climate changes and how they result in water and environmental problems at global and regional scales. Socio-economic variation and climatic change influence the dynamic interaction of human and water systems, and our ability to address environmental problems at sub-regional scales. From this perspective, the Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs), as a form of alternative development scenarios, were recently introduced to help decision-makers to cope with uncertain futures and improve their policies for mitigation and adaptation to climate change. To take advantage of SSP scenarios for policy guidance at regional and national scales, it is necessary to explore the socio-economic feedbacks and water management policies informed by different sub-regional knowledge sharing through stakeholders’ narratives. In this study, we link SSP scenarios developed with regional stakeholders using a coupled socio-economic and environmental model, in conjunction with stakeholder-generated narrative storylines for a sub-region of Pakistan. The framework allows for linking corresponding scenarios across different uncertainty levels to improve regional scale policy making, while providing knowledge regarding the future of human-water systems under a range of plausible future climate and socio-economic scenarios.

How to cite: Alizadeh, M., Adamowski, J., and Inam, A.: Linking stakeholder scenarios and shared socioeconomic pathways for policy making in human-water systems, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-8132, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-8132, 2021.

Richard Grünwald, Wenling Wang, and Yan Feng

The presented session examines the politicization of hydrological science and discusses the current implications for misinterpreting the hydrological data that undermine trust in science. As a result of growing medialization of hydrological studies and simplifying the research conclusions for the wide public, it is more difficult for hydrologists to keep scientific integrity and not fall into the realm of subjectivism. By close analysis of two hydrological studies (Pöyry Report and Eyes on Earth Studies), we noticed that (1) research conclusions may be tailored to political demand, (2) intentionally overlook basic theoretical-methodological research standards, and (3) negatively influenced by social media, especially when the research conclusions do not correspond with scientific reviews nor official speech acts from state authorities. On the other hand, we also found several unintended consequences that make politicization science useful and even positive, especially in terms of changing the social perception of water or deepening the water cooperation in hydrological monitoring which still remain sensitive political issues in many corners of the world.

By drawing on the socio-hydrology and critical hydropolitical theories, this session (i) explores the current challenges for interpreting the hydrological studies, (ii) clarify the techniques how to prevent misinterpretation of the hydrological data, and (iii) demonstrate the politicization of the hydrological science on two micro-case studies within the Mekong River Basin that raise controversies among scientists and potential disputes among states. While the Pöyry Report conclusions served as a political tool to justify the construction of Xayaburi hydropower dam in Laos regardless the opposition of downstream countries, the Eyes on Earth Study was designed to undermine mutual trust among Mekong states and damage the credibility of other hydrological studies that do not share the same opinion on hydrological changes in the Mekong River Basin. The data were retrieved from the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation and Conflict Database (LMCCD) and double-checked with the literature review of the official documents and media sources related to Pöyry Report and Eyes on Earth Study.

How to cite: Grünwald, R., Wang, W., and Feng, Y.: Losing faith, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-1553, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-1553, 2021.

Franciele Maria Vanelli and Masato Kobiyama

Natural disasters refer to disruptions of the society’s functioning as result of negative interactions between natural hazards and social organization. Meanwhile, sociohydrology is dedicated to understanding the coupled human-water systems feedbacks. Both natural disaster studies and sociohydrology focus on understanding bidirectional interactions between environmental and social aspects, which is characterized by a dichotomous thinking pattern. In this context, natural disaster studies and sociohydrology have many parallels. In the present research, we conducted an exploratory research from two central arguments: (i) sociohydrology development can contribute to understanding how to disaster risk reduction by converting negative impacts into a harmonious coexistence between natural and social interactions; and (ii) water is relevant to all types of natural disasters in a direct or an indirect manner and is also fundamental in disaster response. Advances in knowledge about bidirectional interactions between environmental and social aspects overcoming dichotomous thinking pattern can update the sociohydrology development and the concepts commonly applied to natural disaster and risk reduction. We propose that any local community should use the school catchment concept that refers to any experimental catchment which serves for scientific researches and environmental education activities. The partnership between natural and social scientists and society is a challenge. Thus, school catchment construction and use can assist to overcome dichotomous thinking such as natural × social aspects, quantitative × qualitative analyses, systematic × non-systematic data, global × local spatial scales, and structural × non-structural measures. Hence, sociohydrology can support the integrated management of water resources and natural disasters and risks, contributing to achieving the Sendai Framework goals and the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations Agenda 2030. On the other hand, natural disaster studies can contribute to the interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary development of sociohydrology. Therefore, we conclude that sociohydrology has the potential, not yet explored, for contributing to natural disaster studies and vice and versa.

How to cite: Vanelli, F. M. and Kobiyama, M.: Potential of sociohydrology for studying natural disasters, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6553, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu21-6553, 2021.