HS1.3.1 | HELPING science for solutions decade
HELPING science for solutions decade
Co-sponsored by IAHS
Convener: Christina Anna OrieschnigECSECS | Co-conveners: Berit Arheimer, Moctar DembéléECSECS, Salvatore Grimaldi, Fuqiang Tian

Ensuring safe water supply for human and environment, and protecting them from water hazards have become more challenging due to intensified impacts of climate change, globalization, and population growth. Hydrological knowledge is needed more than ever to address water security issues. However, scientific knowledge on resilience and water security is fragmented in discipline, people, and place. There is a substantial lack of synthesis and easily digestible scientific messages among hydrologists, across disciplines and from scientists to practitioners, decision-makers and the general public. Hence, there is a need for the hydrological research community to better link local hydrological research with global patterns of the water cycle, and further, to provide science-based water-centric decision support.

Therefore, the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) is dedicating the next scientific decade to science for solutions. The short name is HELPING, and stands for Hydrology Engaging Local People IN one Global world. It aims to identify local water problems in holistic/system analyses (i.e., linking local and global scales, disciplines and needs, and connecting the dots), search for solutions, be bold and push boundaries to make an impact and connect people across and within regions (e.g., Global North, Global South, North-North, South-South) and provide synthesis to answer the needs of society for sustainable development, safety and security. The topic and vision of the new decade was an outcome of several on-line interactions and workshops during 2023 using a strategic planning approach, as summarised and documented at https://iahs.info/. To date, some 30 working groups have been suggested by the global hydrological community.

This session invites contributions related to the three major themes of HELPING, which all aim at understanding hydrological diversity and integrating knowledge across scales and regions to overcome the water crisis by:
(1) recognising global and local interactions;
(2) finding holistic solutions for water security;
(3) applying cross-cutting methods for facilitation, e.g. science communication, integrating new technology and fostering local co-creation processes.
In particular, we encourage submissions from early career scientists, suggested working groups, and studies that include transdisciplinary and applied experience for solving environmental and societal challenges related to water.

Opening Discussion: Setting up the new Scientific Decade of IAHS: Science for Solutions with HELPING | Berit Arheimer, Christophe Cudennec, Salvatore Grimaldi, and Günter Blöschl 

IAHS has proudly and successfully coordinated two subsequent Scientific Decades, which, amongst other things, set a research agenda worldwide through collaborative forces; and IAHS now set up the third one. The overall aim with a Scientific Decade is to accumulate knowledge and streamline the efforts so that coherent engagement, sharing and focus accelerate scientific methodologies and synthesise understanding of a specific hydrological problem or phenomenon. It stimulates vivid discussions between young and senior scientists globally.

The first IAHS Scientific Decade (2003–2012), entitled Prediction in Ungauged Basins (PUB), was implemented with the primary aim of reducing uncertainty in hydrological predictions. 

The second IAHS Scientific Decade (2013–2022) of IAHS, entitled “Panta Rhei – Everything Flows”, was dedicated to research activities on change in hydrology and society, investigating their co-evolution.

The third IAHS Scientific Decade (2023-2032) is and will be dedicated to local solutions under the global water crisis. The short name is HELPING, which stands for Hydrology Engaging Local People IN one Global world. The vision is to solve fundamental water-related environmental and societal problems by engaging with other disciplines and local stakeholders. We envisage that this will contribute in realising the sustainable development goals of Agenda 2030 of the United Nations. Hence, HELPING has the ambition and great potential to become a vehicle for putting science in action, with strong co-creation and open science dimensions, in local contexts and through the epistemic added value of networking.

This presentation will describe the first year of the decade and the collaborative process in the IAHS community, which lead to the HELPING vision and set-up with 25 working groups under 3 Themes.

Read more and join the working groups: