Grounded socio-hydrology

Socio-hydrology has made significant progress throughout during the Panta Rhei scientific decade. This provides a welcome opening of hydrological viewpoints to understand water flows, water uses and water management. However, most of these new approaches, despite their diversity, come from hydrology and seek to integrate information from other disciplines within their existing frameworks.
Our proposition is to ground socio-hydrology in case-studies, gathering information related to water flows, uses and management, analysing interdependencies among them, and challenging outcomes of these analyses according to local stakeholders’ knowledge. Several conceptual frameworks have recently emerged to facilitate a balanced analysis of these interdependencies and their consequences in socio-ecological systems. These point out the role of soft and hard infrastructures in these interdependencies. The key point is that (1) there is no a priori pre-eminence of a category of processes to explain water flows, uses and management, and (2) existence of multiple interactions across disciplinary domains and investigation methods may generate unexpected feedback loops.
This leads towards a revised understanding of several related cycles (water, information, norms…), all involving intertwined physical and social interventions on flows and transformations within these cycles.

Convener: Olivier Barreteau | Co-Conveners: Andrew Ogilvie, Margreet Zwarteveen
| Thu, 02 Jun, 13:30–14:55|Room Antigone 1, Fri, 03 Jun, 08:30–18:00|Room Antigone 1
| Attendance Fri, 03 Jun, 15:00–16:30|Poster area

Orals: Thu, 02 Jun | Room Antigone 1

S7-1. Grounding sociohydrology through stakeholder engagement
Robert Luetkemeier and Linda Söller

The past droughts uncovered that groundwater resources in Germany are finite. Ecosystem degradation and restrictions in public water supply were the consequences of reduced groundwater recharge, particularly in 2018. This event only exemplifies the challenges for groundwater governance under climate change. Current frameworks like the European Water Framework Directive often fail to ensure the envisioned targets of good quantity and quality of (ground)water. Besides known contributing factors (limited resources, policy incoherencies), we see new supra-regional social-ecological interactions that transgress watershed boundaries and significantly influence local groundwater systems. In our research, we look through a telecoupling lens and thus reframe groundwater challenges.

Here, we present the findings of an ongoing inter- and transdisciplinary project on sustainable groundwater management in the federal state of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. More and more municipalities shutdown local water supply facilities and connect themselves to a remote water supply network. In our case, nitrate and uranium contamination of groundwater as well as drought-induced low groundwater levels created public pressure to switch to the remote water supply network. Thus, a complex web of social-ecological interactions affects local and remote (ground)water resources. These processes can, however, not be explained by hydrology alone – they require a socio-hydrology approach. Here, we investigate the groundwater situation from an interdisciplinary perspective to better understand both societal and environmental phenomena locally and in remote places using the telecoupling framework.

In collaboration with stakeholders, we apply a methodologically guided transdisciplinary process of problem framing, interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge integration. Therein, we particularly shed light on how the remote water supply network affects local groundwater bodies. Representatives from local and remote water suppliers, agriculture, nature conservation, regional planning, local and federal state agencies join this process to create a shared vision of sustainable groundwater management. Against the background of climate change and the evolvement of societal water demand, scenarios of specific measures are collaboratively developed with stakeholders to conserve the resource.

This ongoing research showcases, how stakeholder involvement can enrich a purely scientific perspective on groundwater challenges as local particularities and problem perceptions come to the forefront that offer options for applicable solutions.

How to cite: Luetkemeier, R. and Söller, L.: Transdisciplinarity for sustainable groundwater management – a case from Germany, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-391, 2022.

Rafaela Alves, Samiramisthaís Linhares, Gilberto Möbus, Hela Gasmi, Eduardo Martins, Renan Rocha, and Alyson Estácio

Climate change has modified global and local water cycle patterns inducing more intense and severe drought events. In the Ceará state (Northeast Brazil), a semiarid region very vulnerable to droughts, groundwater acts as a strategic reserve to ensure water security for small rural communities. Well drilling jointly with the building of dams and cisterns are the main policy performed by the public authority to cope with the droughts. This study performed a preliminary qualitative analysis to investigate the anthropogenic effect of the recent drought (2012-2016) in the local hydrogeological environment. The study area selected was the micro-basins of the Algodão and Forquilha creek, in which the alluvial aquifer has been monitored by Funceme since 2010. This aquifer has a great importance for local agricultural development and the water supply for domestic activities. A historical analysis of the evolution of well drilling was performed. In the physical context, the piezometric level of the wells monitored were evaluated. The well drilling was notably more intense between the years 2015 and 2018 and a continuous drawdown of the groundwater level was observed in response to the last drought event. Since 2017 the piezometric level started to rise, however, the monitoring reveals a different pattern of the piezometric levels after the latest drought, with sudden changes between the periods of recharge and drawdown of the aquifer. In the social context, field diagnostics with local stakeholders revealed how the wells installation changed the dynamics of the activities developed by the rural communities. Observed effects were the increase of the number of families and the development of local economics. The heterogeneity of this environment and of its water users requires efficient management policies adapted for the local physical and socioeconomic conditions to avoid overexploitation and maintain the recharge of the aquifers.

How to cite: Alves, R., Linhares, S., Möbus, G., Gasmi, H., Martins, E., Rocha, R., and Estácio, A.: Qualitative analysis between increased demand for wells and changes in activities at the community scale, case study of the Forquilha and Algodão Creek, Banabuiú Basin – Ceará State , IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-392, 2022.

David Gwapedza, Sukhmani Mantel, Bruno Bonte, Stefan Theron, Sakikhaya Mabohlo, Sinethemba Xoxo, Bruce Paxton, Olivier Barreteau, and Jane Tanner



Water scarcity is a significant problem in South Africa. Low average rainfall results in limited water available for human and environmental needs. Consequently, competition for water resources is increasing and has resulted in water-related conflicts among the various water users in many areas of South Africa. Unfortunately, when competition for water use exists, Environmental Water Requirements (EWRs) are often ignored, thus impacting the health of riverine ecosystems and downstream ecosystem services. Such a situation characterises the Koue Bokkeveld farming region. Conflicts are rife between upstream farmers who have initial access to river water and downstream farmers forced to use what remains after upstream users satisfy their needs. The situation entrenches inequality and fuels conflict and, if left unmanaged, may lead to a breakdown in the farming community. The resultant loss in agricultural productivity will affect food security and the livelihood of the thousands of farmworkers who work in the area. This research project responds to this problem by negotiating a shared water management strategy that achieves equity in water access and respects EWR.  The broader aim is to assist Koue Bokkeveld (KBV) stakeholders in co-developing a water resources management strategy that results from a shared understanding.

Methodological framework

To achieve the research aim, a mixed methodological approach driven by Agent-Based Modelling is employed. A companion modelling approach is adopted, thus placing stakeholders at the centre of the model development and application. A series of stakeholder workshops are lined where stakeholders will provide input into and validate the model. Future scenarios (and subsequent impacts on an agreed water management plan) will be evaluated, assisted by hydrological modelling of future flows.

Preliminary results

 An initial conceptual ABM model based on literature and an understanding of the study area representing the key actors, resources and dynamics obtained in the catchment has been developed. An initial stakeholder workshop to solicit stakeholder buy-in has been conducted with success. Although stakeholders remain sceptical about their identities and activities being kept in confidence-they are keen to participate in the following workshops.

Keywords: ABM, South Africa, stakeholder-engagement, water resources, modelling

How to cite: Gwapedza, D., Mantel, S., Bonte, B., Theron, S., Mabohlo, S., Xoxo, S., Paxton, B., Barreteau, O., and Tanner, J.:  A stakeholder-driven process to develop a sustainable water resources management plan in the Koue Bokkeveld farming region, Western Cape-South Africa, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-488, 2022.

David W. Walker, Meiry Sayuri Sakamoto, Veronica Mitroi, Juliana Lima Oliveira, Francisco das C. Vasconcelos Júnior, Sarra Kchouk, Louise Cavalcante, Germano Ribeiro Neto, Eduardo S.P.R. Martins, and Pieter van Oel

Drought impacts monitoring is largely a global blind spot in the assessment and management of drought. Drought monitoring almost exclusively focuses on hydrometeorological and remote sensing indices, which are used as a proxy for the severity of drought. But the severity of a drought depends on how it is experienced by people, economic sectors and ecosystems. There are context-specific drivers that cause, aggravate or lessen drought impacts that are beyond the scope of hydrometeorological and remote sensing monitoring. Therefore, we propose that citizen science can provide this vital dataset. Such monitoring from the perspective of the affected citizens can reveal when and how different areas, sectors and stakeholders experience drought impacts to enable targeted research and development of equitable drought risk management strategies.

The Brazilian Drought Monitor is a monthly map of drought condition, which is particularly relevant in the semiarid northeast of Brazil, utilised to orient politics and public action towards proactive drought management. The Brazilian Drought Monitor mobilises a number of observers and validators, but its capacity to monitor drought impacts is limited, particularly its capacity to more deeply involve local actors. Therefore, FUNCEME, together with Wageningen University and CIRAD, are investigating the establishment of citizen science drought impacts monitoring with two main objectives: i) complementing the institutional conventional monitoring; and ii) revealing local understanding, impacts and preoccupations with drought. The overall aim is to produce a more hybrid knowledge and understanding of socio-hydrological dimensions of drought. We present the first investigations and actions implemented in Ceará State linking institutional (hydrometeorologist) and local actors in an information loop communicating both drought impacts and drought risk management strategies.


How to cite: Walker, D. W., Sakamoto, M. S., Mitroi, V., Oliveira, J. L., Vasconcelos Júnior, F. D. C., Kchouk, S., Cavalcante, L., Ribeiro Neto, G., Martins, E. S. P. R., and van Oel, P.: Establishing citizen science drought impacts monitoring in Northeast Brazil: what for and how? , IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-686, 2022.

Jeanne Riaux, Ahmed Salem Mohamed, Christian Leduc, Cheikh A.A.M. Ba, and Mamadou Lam

The Senegal River delta is characterised by two distinct features. First is the rich historical link between people and water. In this area shaped by the river flow, inhabitants developed multiple water-related activities over history and adapted to hydrological fluctuations. Fresh, salt and brackish water, from the surface and underground, are used in the daily life of riverside people, through fishing, market gardening, fluvial trade, biodiversity conservation, etc. Second is the hydraulic history of this river, commanded by periods of flood and recession. Since the 1980s, massive hydraulic development profoundly modified the river dynamics with dikes, dams and large irrigation schemes. These changes affected the functioning of the lower delta, and especially the distribution of flood waters. People adapted their practices to these changes. One of the driving forces behind these adaptations is the comprehension of the hydrological changes and their impacts on the hydrological regime, in space and time. To do this, all water actors involved in the delta (inhabitants, managers and scientists) develop a dynamic and composite body of knowledge, enabling each of them to build up a specific understanding of the river, in line with their needs for action.

Our research uses grounded sociohydrology to analyse the ways in which this knowledge is constructed. It highlights the variety of information that water actors mobilise in order to build their hydrological knowledge. Each individual produces his own indicators, data and observations. The typical distinction operated between scientific and local knowledge does not resist to this analysis. Knowledge is distinguished by the underlying logic of action and not by the kind of expertise it mobilises. For example, groundwater levels and their variations are of equal interest to hydrogeologists and farmers. Only the observation tools, wells or piezometers, may differ.

This work identifies the ways water actors share information in order to build answers to pending questions about the hydrological dynamics of the Senegal River delta. In a highly anthropised semi-arid context this information sharing enhances the level of knowledge of all groups of actors.

How to cite: Riaux, J., Mohamed, A. S., Leduc, C., Ba, C. A. A. M., and Lam, M.: From piezometers to water actors and back again. A grounded sociohydrology towards the sharing of hydrological knowledge (Senegal River delta)., IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-492, 2022.

Orals: Fri, 03 Jun | Room Antigone 1

S7-2. (2) Grounding sociolohydrology in decision-making/management
Olivier Barreteau, Amandine Adamczewski, Bruno Bonte, Anne-Laure Collard, Marcel Kuper, Christian Leduc, Caroline Lejars, Sylvain Massuel, Andrew Ogilvie, Jeanne Riaux, Laura Seguin, and Jean-Philippe Venot

We consider socio-hydrological systems (SHS) as complex sets of interacting and organized social and biophysical constituents, embedded in locally grounded pathways. As interdependencies among constituents increase and global changes challenge the modus vivendi within SHS, there is an urgent need to understand their evolutions more comprehensively, and support their transition towards sustainable pathways. We build here on a pragmatist [1] approach of socio-hydrology to handle these needs. This approach is best developed when addressing environmental management situations as it relies on the active involvement of academics with multiple stakeholders communities within SHS. With dedicated socio-technical boundary objects (e.g. simulation models, serious games, photographs, narratives…), we provide the conditions for an in depth dialogue on the processes at stake within the SHS. The main purpose is to enhance contextual information to uncover chains of consequences following changes in water or land uses. This approach starts with the collaborative identification of key dynamics of the investigated SHS and thorough shared explanation of the multiple perspectives to identify interactions among constituents of the SHS. As an engaged way of doing research, pragmatism requires to adjunct reflexivity on the collaborative research process to govern evolutions of interactions, and formalize learning for researchers and communities alike stemming out of their collaborative investigation.
The communication builds on few examples across the world related (i) to the use of serious games to understand and foster possibilities of collective action to decrease non-point source agricultural pollution, (ii) the historical and socio-technical analysis of existing infrastructures to support the design of water regulations, and (iii) the consequences of modernization of irrigation networks on water resource at SHS level. Collaborative elaboration of representations leads to uncover and connect processes discussed in separated arenas, such as the benefits of development of soil protection infrastructures in vineyard to decrease the use of pesticides. These experiments indicate that a clear mandate from an operational actor considered legitimate by most (if not all) stakeholders helps to achieve transformative outcomes, while a mandate rooted in academic concerns provides key insights on potential constraints for changes.
[1] Dewey, J. (1916) Education and Democracy. The Free Press

How to cite: Barreteau, O., Adamczewski, A., Bonte, B., Collard, A.-L., Kuper, M., Leduc, C., Lejars, C., Massuel, S., Ogilvie, A., Riaux, J., Seguin, L., and Venot, J.-P.: Generating knowledge from water management situations: a pragmatist approach to socio-hydrology, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-284, 2022.

Gemma Carr, Marlies Barendrecht, Bedru Balana, and Liza Debevec

The variety of demands that people place on water resources, coupled with the dynamics of the natural system, make water resource management highly complex. Case studies provide research opportunities to advance our understanding of complex systems and examine different approaches to resource management. The "Participative Planning for a More Inclusive and Sustainable Water Management in Rural Areas of Burkina Faso" (www.pwgbf.iwmi.org) project ran from 2015-2019, and as part of this, we explored how a socio-hydrological model might support stakeholders to compare different levels of institutional support and different land management strategies for improving water quality. To create the conceptual model of how institutions, agencies, individuals, land and water management interact in the case-study region, literature review was coupled with interviews and field observations of agricultural practices and land and water management. The relationships in the model were described mathematically, and parameters were estimated based on the information collected. The resulting model could explore how the impacts of an increase in institutional capacity (e.g. greater enforcement of land-use regulations), local and regional resources (e.g. investment in irrigation infrastructure at locations far from the river), and individual (e.g. farmer willingness and capacity to reduce use of agro-chemicals, willingness and capacity to relocate or replace vegetable crops with tree crops) could lead to improvements in water quality (reduced concentrations of pollutants and sediments in rivers and reservoirs). Pathways to water quality improvements were modelled, and demonstrate relationships in a semi-quantitative way. For example, water quality can be substantially improved by doubling institutional support to the local water user groups and tripling their internal capacity (e.g. through capacity strengthening, more financial support, and raising gender balance/empowerment). Comparison of different management methods using the model also highlight how economic trade-offs are necessary to achieve improvements in water quality. The systems-dynamics modelling approach taken in this study offers considerable potential for exploring interactions and translating these into management recommendations. However, extensive engagement with stakeholders throughout the entire process is essential.

How to cite: Carr, G., Barendrecht, M., Balana, B., and Debevec, L.: Exploring institutions, land use and water quality interactions with a socio-hydrological modelling approach in Burkina Faso, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-423, 2022.

Sara Fernandez, Rémi Barbier, Charles Antoine, and Sophie Liziard

This communication analyzes how the administration of the Grand-Est region in France seizes an existing drought management instrument, the administrative decrees limiting or suspending water use, to deal with a situation considered as unprecedented, where the lack of water goes from a status of cyclical crisis to that of a structural problem. The administration grasps and also transforms this device to stimulate new ways of dealing with the material environment, to draw boundaries and spaces for action or inaction. This work is based on a quantitative and qualitative analysis. We gathered all the "drought decrees" issued between 2010 and 2020 in the départements that belong to the Grand-Est Region in order to build a typology. We also conducted a dozen semi-structured interviews in several regional and departmental State services.

We analyze the administrative acculturation to drought and the processes associated with it. They concern (i) socio-technical infrastructures (measurement networks, drought committees), (ii) organization and professionalization, as well as (iii) negotiation and coordination of public officers' fields of competence. In particular, we mobilize the "framing - overflowing" dialectic (Callon, 1999) to account for the permanent tension between, on the one hand, the desire to frame management protocols and measures regionally and, on the other hand, the overflows, adjustments, and adaptations imposed by the singularities of biophysical phenomena (Granjou, 2016) and the socio-territorial dynamics at play as well. The analysis of the social life of drought decrees then highlights the different functions that the local services of the State assign to them. The decrees aim to acculturate users to this new reality and to allow the administration to test the extent and limits of its power of intervention. The case of the droughts in the Grand Est illustrates the processes of construction of a new administrative competence over a territory.


Callon M. 1999. «La sociologie peut-elle enrichir l’analyse économique des externalités? Essai sur la notion de cadrage-débordement », In Foray D., Mairesse J. (Dir.), Innovations et performances. Approches interdisciplinaires, Paris : EHESS, 399-431.

Granjou C. 2016. Sociologie des changements environnementaux. Futurs de la nature. Londres, Grande Bretagne: ISTE. 189 p.

How to cite: Fernandez, S., Barbier, R., Antoine, C., and Liziard, S.: When the exception becomes the rule: learning how to govern water scarcity in the French Grand Est Region. Analysis of the regulatory work of State services., IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-537, 2022.

Louise Cavalcante, Esmee van de Ridder, Pieter van Oel, Art Dewulf, Sarra Kchouk, Germano Ribeiro Neto, David Walker, and Eduardo Martins

Interactions between society and water systems are influenced by decisions at different levels, from local farmers to high-level policymakers. In drought contexts, an additional layer of complexity concerns uncertainties with regard to expected rainfall and drought durations. In semiarid northeast Brazil, the idea of ‘fight against drought’ for a long has been the dominant idea among policymakers aiming to deal with drought impacts. This idea prioritizes water-supply measures such as the construction of reservoirs for water storage and hydraulic infrastructures to promote water transfers.  

A polycentric governance lens is used to understand the interactions and influences of multiple governance systems with competitive and cooperative relationships over water resources. We analyzed the multiple scale challenges in water management in the Banabuiú basin in the state of Ceará, using minutes from official water committee meetings, and qualitative data from interviews conducted with smallholder farmers, field technicians and civil servants in November 2021.

Fieldwork interviews provided insights into conflicts of interest and prioritization of stakeholders involved in reservoirs' water management. Conflicts vary across scales and levels. On a river basin level, the over-reliance on water infrastructure contributed to a situation of conflict between irrigated farmers and urban users in the metropolitan region of Fortaleza. At the local level, conflicts exist between local communities depending on a reservoir and a state-level water-management organization, who decided to transfer water to a municipality located 25km away. Interviewees mentioned the government's decisions are “killing the river”. These cross-scale conflicts highlight the interdependencies between stakeholders and challenges in socio-hydrological systems.  

How to cite: Cavalcante, L., van de Ridder, E., van Oel, P., Dewulf, A., Kchouk, S., Ribeiro Neto, G., Walker, D., and Martins, E.: Multiple scale conflicts over water security in a semi-arid river basin: Banabuiu River Basin, Ceara - Brazil, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-675, 2022.

Diana Carolina Callejas Moncaleano, Luuk Rietveld, and Saket Pande

In developing countries, such as Colombia, the majority of the rural water supply systems (RWSS) emerge from the water needs of the community, in order to transit from manual water collection to piped systems. The communities usually construct their water supply system and assume the responsibility of the system. How big these system grow and how well these are maintained are key to how well these systems serve its communities. This paper explores whether the scale of a system, i.e. the size of the system and the number of water users, is an emergent property of the human-water system and that the maintenance of a RWSS depends on this emergent property. Key questions addressed here are: what factors control the scale of a system and how these factors affect the maintenance of the system.

Eight RWS systems located in the rural area of two municipalities, Restrepo and the rural area of Cali in the Valle del Cauca province in Colombia, are investigated to compare and contrast the systems and associated factors such as location, occupation and income distributions of the communities. Nearly 900 households representing the population are surveyed. Even though the RWSS are located in the same region, water use efficiencies (indicator of system maintenance) are different from one system to another.

Rarely, the distance from the RWSS to urban areas is considered to analyse how well a system is maintained. The results highlight that the locations of the systems, dominant occupation and income levels, as a result,  of the communities play an important role because it determines the surplus that communities are able to muster to maintain as well as grow the systems. The surplus is less in remote areas compared to those close to the peri-urban areas while the maintenance costs are similar. As a result, factors are identified that affect the scale and water use efficiency of the studied RWSS in the Valle del Cauca province in Colombia.

How to cite: Callejas Moncaleano, D. C., Rietveld, L., and Pande, S.: System level water use efficiency of rural water supply systems in rural Colombia: a top - down analysis, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-408, 2022.

Marcus Nüsser, Susanne Schmidt, and Juliane Dame

Rapid changes of the Himalayan cryosphere have received enormous scientific and media attention over the past two decades. The abode of snow - as the Himalaya is translated from Sanskrit - faces not only massive hydro-climatic changes but the region is also characterized by rapid urbanization and infrastructure development, which increase vulnerabilities of local communities. The subsequent effects on meltwater-dependent irrigation systems for crop cultivation and risks due to recurring and more frequent cryosphere-related hazards including Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) require integrated analyses of local water management and adaptation strategies to cope with predicted water scarcity. An improved understanding of socio-hydrological pathways is necessary to capture regional and local particularities and dynamics, including glacio-fluvial runoff, socioeconomic processes, indigenous environmental knowledge, and external development interventions. Cryosphere-related hazards of different nature, frequency and magnitude pose recurrent problems ranging from damages of irrigation canals and eroded fields to massive destruction of human habitat and loss of lifes in Himalayan riskscapes. Our contribution is based on long-term case studies from semi-arid Himalayan regions of India and Pakistan. We explore the role of (hard) water harvesting infrastructures, including implementation of ice reservoirs and construction of improved irrigation networks, and (soft) infrastructures ranging from village institutions to non-governmental organizations and state-sponsored development programs. Our field-based research includes socioeconomic and hydrological data collection, supported by multi-temporal analyses of remote sensing data. The contribution aims to develop a socio-hydrological framework for the fragile Himalayan region that may be used as a basis for more sustainable development pathways.

How to cite: Nüsser, M., Schmidt, S., and Dame, J.: Cryosphere changes and local adaptation strategies: socio-hydrological case studies from the Himalayan region, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-661, 2022.

Coffee break
S7-3. (Dealing with) questions of power, equity and justice in sociohydrology
Margreet Zwarteveen, Maria Rusca, James Linton, Melissa Haeffner, Rebecca Lave, Jenia Mukherjee, John Ndiritu, and Raul Pacheco Vega

This paper considers the theoretical and empirical potential of a focus on water justice to ground sociohydrology scholarship. The field of sociohydrology recognises the role of humans in altering – deliberately or not – hydrological flows and seeks to account for the feedbacks and interactions between human and water systems. This scholarship, however, tends to reduce the role of humans and societies to social variables and indicators and is anchored in the ontological separation of nature-society, with nature as the 'anchor' of truth claims. The preference is for larger datasets, and for knowers as positioned outside of (and as independent from) what they study. These approaches are less suited for unravelling the social processes generative of so-called global water challenges, while they also are difficult to translate into actionable insights and tools that are useful to those making actual water decisions (water managers, policy makers, and civil society actors). In our paper, we discuss possible ways of ‘grounding’ sociohydrology in order to better capture sociohistorical contexts, recognize power relations and embrace multiple ways of knowing water. Conceptually, we examine how critical water studies – focusing on water equity and justice - can provide ways of ‘grounding’ sociohydrological understandings of water-society relations. We specifically consider how Haraway’s (1988) notion of situated knowledges in helping do this methodologically and conceptually. Empirically, we draw on our own research expertise to argue that grounded, empirical case studies can significantly add to theorisations of socionatural change, providing critical insights into processes of societal inclusion and exclusion, and the production of social difference through water – insights that can provide a good basis for imagining and helping develop just transformations to water sustainability. 

How to cite: Zwarteveen, M., Rusca, M., Linton, J., Haeffner, M., Lave, R., Mukherjee, J., Ndiritu, J., and Pacheco Vega, R.: Grounding sociohydrology through a justice lens  , IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-247, 2022.

Elisa Savelli, Maurizio Mazzoleni, Hannah Cloke, Giuliano Di Baldassarre, and Maria Rusca

Cities face increasing droughts and water shortages as a result of extreme meteorological conditions and expanding human pressure. Future projections estimate that over one billion urban residents will experience severe droughts and water shortages in the near future. Most scientific and policy debates emphasize climate change, population growth and urbanization as the major forces at the genesis of this apocalyptic future. In this paper we argue instead that the root causes of urban water crises have to be retraced in the socioenvironmental injustices enmeshed with the development of a city. For it is not society as a whole that reshapes drought events or trigger water shortages. Usually, the most powerful groups with greater privileges and access to resources, are those who play a more prominent role in decisions on water resource use and allocation, thereby shaping the propagation of drought phenomena more significantly.  Accounting for the heterogeneity of human societies is thus key to understand the dynamics of human-water systems and, more specifically, the temporal and spatial propagation of drought phenomena. Sociohydrological models have not yet accounted for the manners in which heterogeneous social groups intersect with drought propagation. This work advances current analyses by modelling heterogenous interactions between human and water systems alongside their unequal influences on the transformation of drought into uneven water crises. The Day Zero crisis in Cape Town constitutes the empirical basis of this work. On the one hand Cape Town’s urban geography epitomizes an unequal landscape of water access and vulnerabilities. On the other hand, Day Zero exemplifies an extreme drought event that will most likely occur across many urban areas. Using a system-dynamic framework we retrace the uneven consumptions of water across Cape Town metropolitan area and estimate the drought resilience trajectories for different social groups. In turn, the socio-hydrological model explores the distinctive implication that each trajectory has for the sustainability of urban water systems. Ultimately, we argue that the unsustainable water uses of the elite can transform a meteorological drought into an urban water crisis.

How to cite: Savelli, E., Mazzoleni, M., Cloke, H., Di Baldassarre, G., and Rusca, M.: Elite consumptions trigger water shortages: Modelling heterogeneous interactions between drought and society, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-31, 2022.

Bruno Bonté, Anne-Laure Collard, and Salem Idda

The added value of using computer modeling to study the relationship between water and society is not always shared between modelers and other disciplines in the humanities such as qualitative sociology. Although both can share the same research object, the methods of interpretation, the field approaches or the posture with local actors can sometimes be too different to really work together. In this communication, we propose to revisit the interdisciplinary dialogue between a modeler of socio-hydrological dynamics and a sociologist in order to overcome their misunderstandings. We thus develop a reflexive approach about the contribution of their disciplines to produce knowledge and contribute to water management issues facing society.

Our case study is an agent-based model of a social and hydrological system developed for a thesis in geography (by Idda Salem) to understand the dynamics of the oasis traditional agriculture in front of social and environmental changes that occurred in the modern Algerian state. The model gives an integrated and systemic vision of all elements mentioned in the issue studied, included a spatial representation of the aquifer dynamics, an implementation of institutional rules of water uses and associated social and physical external drivers. The model constitutes a support for dialogue and negotiation between our two disciplines. What emerges from this dialogue is the sharing of a common ontology that goes beyond the methods, tools and vocabulary of each. This translates into the identification of a common research object (hybrid water: social and physical), similar research questions (what contributions do agent-based models make to the understanding of the relationship between water and society?) and the meaning given to research (producing alternative narratives to dominant discourses).

In concrete terms, we will clarify the role of each party in the dialogue: the modeler's interest in taking a fresh look at the construction of the model he has produced and its assumptions, the sociologist's interest in questioning the modeling activity. Moreover, we will identify the stages of formalization of this dialogue (drawing, writing, oral communication in a seminar organized by ethnologists).

How to cite: Bonté, B., Collard, A.-L., and Idda, S.: How to be reflexive about an Agent Based Model of social and hydrological system?, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-222, 2022.

Jeanne Riaux, Sylvain Massuel, and Marcel Kuper

The production of knowledge about water is historically intimately linked to societal issues,
connecting water sciences ontologically to society as recognized through the Panta Rhei
initiative on sociohydrology. As a result, water scientists generally aim to “talk” to society,
mostly in the field of public decision support. However, and in parallel, the water sciences have
progressively asserted themselves as scientific and academic disciplines, focusing on the
natural aspects of the large water cycle and animated by the desire to adopt the position of
axiological neutrality sustained by “modern” science. This inconsistency affects, we argue, the
dialogue between water sciences and society. When water scientists engage in such dialogue,
interdisciplinary by nature, they frequently express a worrying feeling of “discomfort”, like
being out of step with the different expectations and paradigms.
We carried out a reflexive study on the way in which the research/society dialogue on water is
conducted in Tunisia within an interdisciplinary research group, including hydrologists,
agronomists and social scientists. We noticed that there were often mismatches in the way that
i) researchers engage with their interlocutors (which interlocutors?), ii) they transmit knowledge
(what knowledge?) and iii) the interlocutors appropriate knowledge (what kind of
appropriation?). The dialogue between researchers from the different disciplines inevitably
brings to light the gaps and contradictions in the practices of science/society dialogue because
water sciences and social sciences entertain different relationships with society.
We argue that the interdisciplinary dialogue initiated in socio-hydrological research allows
researchers, both in water sciences and in social sciences, to reveal this discomfort but also to
build on this to enrich the dialogue with society and one-self. Deep and sincere reflexive work
can be carried out collectively on both causes and effects. Identifying, analyzing and sharing
the sources of discomfort allows what anthropologists refer to as "decentering". This shift in
focus should help changing the way the dialogue between water scientists and society is held.
This then leads to questioning the place of researchers within society and the functions science can handle in the social and political world.

How to cite: Riaux, J., Massuel, S., and Kuper, M.: Riding the wave of discomfort. A reflexive way to practice sociohydrology , IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-664, 2022.

Power dynamics in river basin governance
Javier Rodríguez Ros, François Molle, Dave Huitema, and Nuria Hernández-Mora
Grounding sociohydrological relations in the Silandak watershed in Semarang, Indonesia: landslide, land subsidence, flood risk and urban development
Bosman Batubara, Amalinda Savirani, Marie Belland, Michelle Kooy, Nila Ardhianie, and Wigke Capri
Lunch break / Exhibition for the public
S7-4. Conversations between different data collection methods (and can they always be combined)
Jean-Philippe Venot, Sylvain Massuel, Christina Orieschnig, and Gilles Belaud

As can be inferred from its title, this paper is inspired by the work on multiplicity conducted by two scholars in science studies. We turn towards these scholars as calls for interdisciplinary research practices to support decision making are increasingly pervasive in the field of sociohydrology and, more broadly, in the field of Sustainability Science. We find these calls are grounded in the assumption that the raison d’être of interdisciplinarity is to provide an “integrated understanding” on the basis of which decisions to solve ‘wicked problems’ -such as the search for sustainability- can then be made, granted adequate involvement of decision makers in the processes.

We argue that the search for a “better understanding” of sociohydrological processes through integration is unlikely to yield the much hoped-for changes in water management in the real world and offer an alternative, the ‘cloud of representations’. More specifically, we describe activities conducted by a small collective of researchers and practitioners on the Cambodian preks. These are earthen channels dating back almost two centuries that can be found in the Cambodian Upper Mekong delta south of Phnom Penh. They connect rivers to their adjacent floodplains through breaches in the river levees. In this paper, we further describe the making of a multi-level case study area from the deltaic floodplain to the banks of specific preks. We recount how the preks have been conceptualized as key outcomes of negotiations between foreign development agents and ministerial staff, as channels conveying water and contaminants, or as key to agricultural practices. We further describe how these different conceptualizations informed each other yet yielded independent research results. We argue that highlighting the co-existence of these results, including in handling their respective uncertainty and contradictions, increased their respective legitimacy beyond the ‘research realm’, ultimately leading to changes in the ways rehabilitation of preks was envisioned in the context of specific development projects.

More generically, we argue that learning to accommodate differences in approaches and representations of a given “object” may be a more conducive approach to strengthening the water science-policy interface through incremental changes in practice and policy.

How to cite: Venot, J.-P., Massuel, S., Orieschnig, C., and Belaud, G.: The Prek Multiple: Doing Difference Together for Incremental Policy Changes in Cambodia, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-209, 2022.

Cydney K. Seigerman, Eduardo Sávio Martins, and Donald R. Nelson

In the semi-arid region of Ceará, northeast Brazil, differential experiences of household water insecurity emerge through intertwined sociopolitical, hydrological, and technological processes. Household water security is broadly defined as access water of sufficient quality and quantity to live a good life. This paper presents ongoing research that integrates hydrological and meteorological data with qualitative social science methods to examine the relationship among local hydrological characteristics, water management strategies, and the emergence of local experiences of water (in)security in rural communities in the Cearense semi-arid region.

The Cearense semi-arid region faces significant challenges related to socioeconomic inequality and reliable water access. It is characterized by highly politicized water management, irregular inter and intra-annual rainfall rates, crystalline soils, and high evapotranspiration rates. Poor, rural households rely primarily on rain-fed subsistence farming and livestock raising. Local access to land, water, and physical infrastructure depends on decisions and policies that span the microlevel (i.e., individual and household levels) and macrolevel (e.g., community, municipal, state, and federal levels).

To elucidate the emergence of local experiences of water (in)security in the region, semi-structured interviews were conducted with regional water professionals and members of rural communities with different water management operations (i.e., community-based, water company-based, or government-based). Participant observation (e.g., collecting drinking water from the household cistern) and observation of local and regional water management meetings were also carried out. These methods were complemented by analysis of climate patterns and community-level hydrological characteristics, including the impacts of the most recent extensive drought (from 2012 to the present in many areas). Households use a variety of strategies to obtain drinking water and water for other household activities (e.g., washing clothes, watering plants, or supplying animals with water), which depend on access to household technologies (e.g., cisterns and in-house piped water) and water management of water sources (e.g., reservoirs, deep-wells, or rivers). The research highlights the heterogeneity of experiences of water access and management by rural communities, which is influenced by socio-hydrological relations involving differential access to water technologies, water management and public policies, and hydrological conditions across temporal, geographic, and social scales.

How to cite: Seigerman, C. K., Martins, E. S., and Nelson, D. R.: The emergence of household-level water insecurity through socio-hydrological processes in the semi-arid region of Ceará, northeast Brazil, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-198, 2022.

Christelle Gramaglia, Christian Salles, Marlène Rio, and Marie-George Tournoud

Coastal areas are under the influence of runoff that wash out urban soils that are mostly impervious. Our study reports on interdisciplinary research combining hydrology and sociology, to understand the impact of rain runoff on the quality of coastal waters, and to identify brakes and levers for improving urban infrastructure that would slow down the transfer of runoff and associated contaminants to the environment.

After measuring and modelling the transfer of contaminants from impervious urban soils to the environment, semi-structured interviews were conducted in the Montpellier metropolitan area with scientists, local water management stakeholders (elected officials, technical services, state services) and representatives of civil society (associations). They were completed by a focus group with a panel of people previously interviewed and selected. The collection of testimonies allowed us to understand that the pollution generated by urban stormwater was not, with some exceptions, identified as a public problem. The renaturation of urban spaces, to limit the transfer of contaminated water, is rarely considered as a solution, whatever the incentives of the Water Agencies in this field. Preference is generally given to heavy techniques (retention basins and special coatings) rather than to soft alternative developments (rain gardens, etc.). Beyond the organizational reluctance of city's technical services, contextual factors explain the lack of political support for change: the issues of the degradation of the quality of rainwater runoff, which is difficult to perceive, appear negligible compared to the risks of flooding in a Mediterranean region subject to extreme rainfall events. In this particular context, scientists must redouble their efforts to challenge and interest decision-makers in order to convince them to take steps to improve the quality of coastal waters.

The results of our research enabled us to test several runoff management scenarios: the installation of permeable pavements on road surfaces or the connection of roof runoff to permeable areas. They also opened up a broader socio-hydrological reflection on the role of scientists in the city, and their necessary involvement with stakeholders to jointly imagine a concerted approach to water issues. 

How to cite: Gramaglia, C., Salles, C., Rio, M., and Tournoud, M.-G.: Reducing the imperviousness of urban soils: a way of improving the quality of runoff that is struggling to impose itself in the Mediterranean area, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-432, 2022.

Kevin Daudin, François Colin, and Christiane Weber

This communication intends to promote an ex-post methodology to systematically document coupled trajectories between environmental sciences and planning. While specific institutional arrangements facilitate collaborative practices in long-term socio-environmental observatories, the collaboration mechanisms are still poorly documented and some framework developments are needed for capitalization studies. To fill this gap, we propose an approach to trace, illustrate and evaluate interactive activities between researchers and managers. We proposed the Systemic Timeline Multistep (STM) methodology on the basis of a typical case-study, the coastal Thau catchment (south of France), where societal challenges emerged from water-related issues.

First we propose a conceptual framework of the collaborative process: the system under study is composed of bundles of research and development projects, which forms a given sociotechnical configuration that fulfill specific functions. The trajectory is marked by the succession of relatively stable periods, globally oriented by transitions. Second, we implement this framework on past environmental projects through a diachronic and dialectic approach: the objective is to characterize regimes (driving mechanisms of interactive arrangements) and identify transitions in the trajectory (triggers and impacts of regime shift). The multi-step methodology is divided in: define spatial and temporal system boundaries, list and contextualize all projects, represent the dynamics of projects and events, and analyze the overall pathway (relate projects’ role to context variables).

The implementation of the methodology on the Thau case study helps rapidly visualize research activities and their interactions with water management and broader governance and societal events through time. Both research and practice communities were bridged in the frame of specific governance instruments dedicated to lagoon water quality, which ‘sanitary crises’ required interventions across public policies and sustained interactions with knowledge production. It points out the role of technical infrastructures (monitoring and modelling of water fluxes) on water quality and related-activities, and it highlights the importance of boundary works for integrated planning (coastal zone, land and water). Finally, the STM methodology supports the characterization of interdependencies between water fluxes characterization, water management and water uses. Exploring the impacts of information system on collaborative mechanisms may provide place-based reflexive insights on governance approaches in long-term research platforms.

How to cite: Daudin, K., Colin, F., and Weber, C.: The Systemic Timeline Multistep methodology: a framework for analyzing interdependencies between knowledge and action in socio-hydrological observatories, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-471, 2022.

Meriem Farah Hamamouche, Amine Saidani, Emanuele Fantini, and Marcel Kuper

Perhaps one of the most elaborate community initiatives in managing groundwater consists of reinforcing the natural cycle of aquifer recharge, which can then be used for irrigation. Artificial groundwater recharge and use systems often deal with difficult waters that come suddenly (e.g flash floods). Operating such systems over the long run requires robust collective action and carefully balancing the available water resources and their use. These are exactly the two dimensions that have been challenged in past decades by the development of individual pumps entailing the possibility of intensive, often unsustainable, groundwater mining for entrepreneurial agricultures. In the oasis context, this new form of agriculture is developed, most often, without the local people and in contradiction with the principle of oasis agriculture. ​ The ancient oases in the M’zab valley in Algeria’s Sahara are the result of several centuries of hard work while respecting the fragile balance between resources and their needs. For instance, the community-managed circular irrigation system of the M'zab valley aims to capture water from the natural hydrological cycle and insert it into local use loops, complementing the natural recharge. This respect for balance was done also for energy and waste.

Regardless of entrepreneurial agriculture, the oasis communities of the M’zab valley developed another agricultural model on the lands surrounding the ancient oases. The farmers were inspired by the secular oasis repertoire, based on circularity while combining them with contemporary practices farming practices and techniques in order to produce a healthier and more sustainable market agriculture.

This study analyses how the circular irrigation system was reinvented in the M’zab valley. We will mobilize the Quantitative Story-Telling approach since it enables allows: i) bridge different sources of knowledge, including local knowledge, ii) combine both qualitative and quantitative information regarding the sustainable use of local resources, and iii) co-create narratives on desirable and viable socio-technical pathways. Based on the analysis, we will reflect on how re-adapating the circular irrigation system in the new agricultural extensions can represent sources of inspiration for ecologically sustainable and socially equitable forms of groundwater governance, even in particularly challenging situations.

How to cite: Hamamouche, M. F., Saidani, A., Fantini, E., and Kuper, M.: Algeria case study: Re-inventing the circular irrigation system in the semi-desert Mzab valley, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-325, 2022.

Hamza Jerbi, Sylvain Massuel, Jeanne Riaux, Christian Leduc, and Jamila Tarhouni

The Wadi Merguellil, the main watercourse of the Merguellil basin in central Tunisia, has experienced an extremely marked socio-hydrological evolution. It is currently intermittent over most of its course, but the statements of farmers and archival records reveal that this was not the case at the beginning of the last century. They testify their nostalgia for a past when water was easily mobilized from the wadi using traditional irrigation canals. As well, the spatial patterns of irrigation and the organization of social groups around the Wadi look very different from what it is now.  Wind back the clock 100 years to the early 20th century, the Wadi Merguellil base flow was fed by the overflow of regional aquifers and the agriculture development was maintained thanks to the irrigation from this flow. However, things came to a head in the 1975’s, an exploitation scheme was implemented in order to drop the groundwater level of the regional aquifers to a target depth so as to reduce '' losses '' by evaporation in the Wadi Merguellil. This scheme was based on a simple resource displacement to limit water "losses" but around the wadi, there are also farmers for which the wadi represents a means of subsistence. Thus, drying up of the Wadi Merguellil has forced farmers to abandon the irrigation canals and opt for the installation of pumps and deep wells. This retroaction of farmers to the hydrological change contributed to further disturb the hydrological budget and led to a generalized groundwater level drop of 37 m over the last 50 years and an inversion of hydraulic gradients. In fact, the exploitation scheme was intended to satisfy all stakeholders but it was based exclusively on hydrodynamic considerations without taking into account the evolution of society around the wadi. The results of this work are in line with researches in socio-hydrology that call for a deeper integration of social aspects into management plans to ensure the sustainable development of water resources.

How to cite: Jerbi, H., Massuel, S., Riaux, J., Leduc, C., and Tarhouni, J.: A socio-hydrological journey around the Wadi Merguellil in central Tunisia, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-91, 2022.

S7-5. Ways to incorporate human dynamics in socio-hydrological models
Cyndi Vail Castro

Renewed global mandates have encouraged widespread use of nature-based solutions (NBSs) for addressing overlapping benefits of hydro-environmental impact, social conditions (mental and physical health, sense of well-being, food security), biodiversity, and ecosystem restoration. However, the decision to implement nature-based solutions is posed with challenges regarding policy effectiveness and stakeholder buy-in. Such complexities may be assessed through the lens of socio-hydrology with enhanced approaches for incorporating human behavior into the modeling paradigm. Here, a novel framework is presented and demonstrated that applies stakeholder cognitive mapping and feedback loop analysis through a series of soft-systems approaches to elicit an understanding of the complex interactions between the physical processes served by NBSs and their human-directed management opportunities. The community-led application reveals a means for balancing complex governmental structures across multiple agencies toward policy coherence, where we identify synergies and conflicts between disparate management strategies regarding optimal allocation of NBS socio-hydrological benefits. A demonstrated case study in Houston, Texas reveals unexpected feedbacks resulting from interacting causal influences across the social and hydrological domains according to the norms in a given locale, such as the influence of climate, flood memory, advocacy, and benefit visualization. The flows of information throughout the cycle are transformed by belief systems embedded within the stakeholder cognition, which may be used to perform a semi-quantitative scenario-based assessment for identifying and better-understanding policy coherence amongst a plethora of NBS decision-making options. Typically, sole reliance upon scenario-based modeling obscures the feedback loop logic embedded within the system. Conversely, causal loop diagrams alone may quickly become convoluted, which are difficult to decipher from human visualization, particularly as we encounter double and triple loop influences. By combining both loop analysis with scenario-based modeling within one framework, we are better able to identify areas of policy coherence while also explaining the emergence of synergies and trade-offs according to causal loop logic. Such a framework is applicable to a variety of complex systems with overlapping socio-hydro-environmental processes that are influenced by political decision-making across institutional scales.

How to cite: Vail Castro, C.: Balancing Policy Coherence in Socio-hydrology, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-20, 2022.

Andres Verzijl and Veena Srinivasan

In this paper we explore the relation – discrepancies and correlations – between surface & groundwater practices in the Cauvery delta, to (re)connect science, policy makers and grassroots initiatives that aim for sustainable delta futures. Key is the fluid relationship between rain, run-off and water in the ground, which has been: 1) overshadowed by a prevalent surface water thinking long performed by state agencies, and 2) outflanked by a contemporary reality of overpumping groundwater. The role of knowledge (data) and tools such as models, provided by science and relied upon by policymakers, have in this context been incomplete and contested. With an inability to deal with contemporary challenges (by state agencies), communities are left to respond (and are looked at to fill the gaps). New developments in citizen science and remote sensing democratise data and offer new pathways. What is needed is a situated science – one that accounts for how science is done and how it informs policy and practice (and how it can be informed by practice). We use the development of our own surface-groundwater model – initially at odds with farmers perceptions and experiences – as a case in point


How to cite: Verzijl, A. and Srinivasan, V.: Capacitating Development @Cauvery Delta #joint- groundwater learning through science-policy-user interactions, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-753, 2022.

Déborah Sousa, Conceição Alves, Célia Ghedini, and Fernán Vergara

The interface of water systems with political, social and economic contexts adds complexity to water allocation issues, especially in river basins characterized by water access conflicts. Traditional modeling approaches have failed to consider social interactions and impacts in the representation of hydrological processes when considering human actions as fixed boundary conditions. As an alternative, agent-based models (ABMs) have demonstrated flexibility to represent the complexity of individuals or institutions behavior in the modeling of water resources systems. This work presents an ABM for the Formoso River Basin (FRB) in central region of Brazil. The FRB model uses a new cognitive agent architecture based on the BDI (Belief-Desire-Intention) (Bratman, 1987) paradigm integrated into the GAMA modeling platform (Taillandier et al., 2016).

The FRB is characterized by an intense agricultural activity as it provides water for the second largest public irrigation project in Brazil. The high level of irrigation water demand combined with limited water availability led to a critical water shortage event in 2016 resulting in temporary suspension of water allocation in the region. As a result, conflicts among water users were intensified.

The production of soybean seeds during the dry season (May-Sep) with the practice of subsurface irrigation defines the region’s critical period in terms of water scarcity. By coupling hydrological scenarios with an ABM to represent both farmers and water regulators as BDI agents in the FRB socio-hydrological system, our model aims to provide a framework to illustrate the performance of different management strategies, such as negotiable water allocation, collective/private water allocation, water allocation based on water level rules. These alternatives were evaluated in terms of their effectiveness to reduce the conflicts among water users (farmers) in the FRB. The reasoning of farmers decision was based in three main behavioral profiles: 1) cooperative; 2) undefined; 3) resistant. The water regulators were represented in two main behavioral profiles: 1) active; 2) ineffective. The performance of the management strategy was analyzed using economic (farmers income), ecological (water level) and social (farmers equity) performance metrics.

We believe that this work may contribute to important discussions related to the 18th UPH.

How to cite: Sousa, D., Alves, C., Ghedini, C., and Vergara, F.: An Agent-Based Model to evaluate the performance of water allocation methodologies in coupled human-water irrigation systems: the case of the Formoso River Basin (Brazil)., IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-290, 2022.

The development of the Twee River Water Balance Tool for equitable water use and sustainable catchment management in the Koue Bokkeveld, Western Cape
Stefan Theron, Sukhmani Mantel, Bruce Paxton, Gerald Howard, and Jane Tanner
Mohammad Faiz Alam, Paul Pavelic, Alok Sikka, Karen Villholth, and Saket Pande

To mitigate groundwater depletion and enhance groundwater storage for irrigation, managed aquifer recharge (MAR) is promoted globally. There has long been concern that MAR when applied in rural semi-arid areas underlain by hardrock aquifers, may not always be effective in terms of sustaining groundwater use and mitigating negative impacts of droughts. This paper presents a case study of a catchment underlain by shallow hardrock aquifer in the semi-arid western Indian state of Gujarat. Gujarat, impacted by widespread groundwater depletion, has invested heavily in MAR with an estimated ~ 100,000 structures installed (mostly check dams, CD) over the past two decades. The study estimated and compared the dynamics of increased recharge via CDs, irrigation demand and groundwater storage in the catchment. We find that the region underlain by hard rock aquifer has limited aquifer storage which is replenished and withdrawn annually, thus limiting the year-to-year buffer storage. Additionally, supply-demand feedback loops have led to significantly higher irrigation demand which has outstripped the increase in supply via CD recharge. This increase in demand along with overreliance on limited aquifer storage and low surface runoff in dry years (rainfall ~ 350-400 mm/year) means that CD capacity to enhance irrigation supply and mitigate negative impacts of drought is very restricted. On the contrary, this has increased vulnerability, with up to ~ 70 % of irrigation demands remaining unmet in dry years. This is symptomatic of sociohydrological phenomenon “reservoir effect” where overreliance on increased supply to reduce vulnerability has backfired. We also find that for good rainfall years, CDs do increase irrigation supply but that can only partially compensate for increased irrigation demand. This results in lower groundwater storage in period after the construction of CDs. The results call into question of the efficacy of MAR as a solution for enhancing groundwater storage and drought mitigation strategy in semi-arid regions underlain by hard rock. Our results show the limitation of technological solutions focusing on augmenting supply and calls for a realistic assessment of MAR explicitly accounting for coupled natural-human systems to reveal unintended and emergent dynamics that can lead to negative externalities and increased vulnerability.

How to cite: Alam, M. F., Pavelic, P., Sikka, A., Villholth, K., and Pande, S.: Impact of large-scale managed aquifer recharge in sustaining agricultural groundwater use: A case study of shallow hard-rock aquifer region of western India, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-638, 2022.

Anne Van Loon, Marlies Barendrecht, Ruben Weesie, Heidi Mendoza, Alessia Matanó, Johanna Koehler, Melanie Rohse, Marleen de Ruiter, Maurizio Mazzoleni, Philip Ward, Jeroen Aerts, Giuliano di Baldassarre, and Rosie Day

Droughts are long-lasting and have a range of cascading impacts on society. These impacts and their responses can influence the further development of the drought itself, but also continue into the period after the drought ended. Especially if society is hit by a next hydrological extreme event, heavy rainfall resulting in flooding, the effects of this may be increased or decreased by the preceding drought and its impacts and responses. We here present a review and a global assessment of cases of these events, based on scientific literature, NGO and governmental reports, and newspaper articles, to study the diversity of how drought affects flood risk. We find that the balance between the positive and negative effects of extreme rainfall after a long dry period is mostly dependent on the underlying vulnerability and the effect of specific responses, and is different for different countries, and for different sectors and groups in society. Based on our initial analysis of the collection of case studies, we see some emerging patterns. For example, in Europe, the USA and Australia, the highly managed water system with hard infrastructure and early-warning systems makes that in most cases the rainfall after drought are managed and adverse effects mitigated, but also lock-ins exist that can make feedbacks of either inaction or maladaptation result in increased economic losses. In Africa and Latin-America, with a fragile governance system, less hard infrastructure, and a more exposed population, extreme rainfall after drought brings relief and replenishment of water resources, but also increased impacts, conflict and displacement. Here, we hypothesise that impacts are unequally distributed in society, because of issues of power, access to land and water resources, inadequate soft infrastructures, etc. We will test this hypothesis with an in-depth qualitative study of local stakeholder knowledge of these human-water processes in selected case studies. The typology of drought-to-flood events that we developed can serve as a starting point for further research on the complexity of these cascading events.

How to cite: Van Loon, A., Barendrecht, M., Weesie, R., Mendoza, H., Matanó, A., Koehler, J., Rohse, M., de Ruiter, M., Mazzoleni, M., Ward, P., Aerts, J., di Baldassarre, G., and Day, R.: How drought affects flood risk: positive / negative effects and feedbacks in different cases, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-388, 2022.

Posters: Fri, 3 Jun, 15:00–16:30 | Poster area

Ghita Serrhini-Naji

The Vistre plain is subject to a hydraulic functioning specific to Mediterranean regimes, notably characterized by intense and short episodes of heavy rainfall, and rapid to torrential flooding kinetics. To guard against risks, the public management institutions of the drainage basin have gradually put in place a set of devices consisting of best practices, administrative tools, technical infrastructure, vigilance and flood forecasting services, crisis management plans and awareness programs. During the 2014 flood episode, these institutions agreed on the fact that many damages were limited thanks to the works built, since 2007, within the framework of flood prevention plans. However, it is important to question these devices in light of the challenge of requalification that this highly anthropized river presents. Indeed, the academic sphere as well as the operational sector have recently demonstrated a desire to go beyond the diametric opposition between anthropic and ecological interests to renew the questioning on socio-ecological interdependencies. This opposition is challenged, in particular, by the counter-productivity of certain measures aimed at protecting oneself from nature: the artificialization of the functioning of rivers can increase the risk of flooding.

These considerations are part of the objectives of the syndicate in charge of managing the Vistre. Since 2002, it has explicitly chosen a policy of revitalization (or renaturation) rather than restoration (or rehabilitation) of the Vistre. We hypothesize that this political choice contributes to the local emergence of a tension between protecting and being protected from nature. This poster will present the first results of a survey by semi-directive interviews and questionnaires conducted with stakeholders (inhabitants, associations and institutions), aiming to better understand the evolution of the perception of socio-ecological interdependencies at work around the revitalization projects in the Vistre Plain. This understanding, based on the collection of local representations and practices, will shed light on the conditions of conciliation between revitalization and flood protection policies.

How to cite: Serrhini-Naji, G.: Controlling or rewilding the river: local expressions of a tension between revitalization and risk control, case study of the Vistre plain , IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-337, 2022.

Increasing information flow: How hydrologists can bridge research and practice
Claudia Rojas-Serna and Jessie Lowenfeld
Iolanda Borzì, Beatrice Monteleone, Brunella Bonaccorso, and Mario Martina

The Po River Basin is the largest Italian watershed, covering a surface of 71.000 km², and is the main agricultural area of the country (Figure 1). It was interested by several drought events in the past years with severe impacts on agriculture; between 2005 and 2007 agricultural losses caused by droughts were estimated to be around 1.850 M€.

Surveys have been proposed to local farmers to identify past droughts and heatwaves that have impacted their crops and to understand their water management strategies during those events. Past droughts have also been identified computing the SPEI. The comparison between the events identified through the SPEI and the ones reported in survey evidenced coherence in timing and lengths of the events. In particular three main events happened in 2003, 2017 and 2019.

Adaptation strategies to cope with droughts and heatwaves have been retrieved from the collected surveys. Farmers were asked to answer the following questions: if they applied irrigation during past droughts, which were the preferred irrigation strategies (i.e., irrigate at night, irrigate a reduced area to their full irrigation, irrigate the full area to a reduced irrigation, crop prioritization, etc) and which were their decisional criteria to establish when to start irrigation during a drought. Information on the availability of insurance coverages were collected, as well as on the grade of satisfaction of farmers about them.

Surveys highlighted how droughts occurring in different plant growing stages caused very different economic damages in terms of yield reduction and economic losses. The main source for water supply in the Po area are private wells, river and lakes. Farmers who did not apply irrigation reported a 55% yield reduction, while farmers who irrigated have lost only 20% of their yield. In addition, the farmers’ grade of satisfaction on insurance coverage was evaluated. Farmers who applied irrigation did not acquire insurance coverages, while farmers who haven’t used irrigation trusted more on insurance.

Future perspectives for the study are to assess the effectiveness of management strategies evaluated from surveys, though the use of simulation models, comparing them with other strategies to cope with water crisis.


How to cite: Borzì, I., Monteleone, B., Bonaccorso, B., and Martina, M.: Farmers’ risk reduction strategies during drought events in the Po river basin: an assessment from surveys., IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-582, 2022.

Fuko Nakai, Ryo Matsukawa, and Shinichiro Nakamura

The development of modern flood control infrastructures has reduced the human and economic damage caused by floods. Nevertheless, the reduced frequency of floods may increase the number of people in the floodplain because of low awareness of disasters, thus increasing the exposure of society (Di Baldassarre et al., 2013). To examine this human-water interaction, in this study, we empirically analyzed how flood control infrastructures (i.e., levees) have affected land use in the floodplain. We considered the Kiso River basin in Japan as the research domain, where the population has significantly increased over 100 years. The traditional flood control culture that involves living with discontinuous levees known as "Kasumi levees" and "Wajyu levees" (ring levees) has rapidly replaced modern flood control technologies. We attempted to understand the impact of levee improvement when dealing with various complex factors that influence land use. Land use in hazardous areas can be affected not only by levees but also other infrastructures and industries that are located in the area; this can bias the estimation of the impact on land use "with" and "without" levees. We employed the propensity score method (PSM) to control these variables that influence the impact estimation. PSM is a quasi-experimental method that generates an artificial control group (area "without" levees) by matching each treated area (area "with" levees) with a non-treated area having similar characteristics. We also employed the difference-in-differences method for the time-series change detection of the data controlled by the PSM. We generated the data from maps of the Kiso River basin from the 1890s to the 2000s. These maps are provided by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan. They are of uniform quality and depict the entire land area of Japan. We traced not only levees and land use but also the location of schools, industries, and infrastructures in the Kiso River basin as GIS data and developed them as panel data. Finally, we identified the affected area by installing modern flood control facilities such as levees and when the impact emerged.

How to cite: Nakai, F., Matsukawa, R., and Nakamura, S.: Estimating Land Use Changes due to Levee Improvement: A Case Study of the Kiso River Basin in Japan from the 1890s to 2000s, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-529, 2022.

Socio-ecological System Assessment on Water Management of Premium Irrigation Areas. Case study: Wadaslintang and Sempor, Indonesia
Vicky Ariyanti, Shakti Rahadiansyah, Rigakittyndya Tiamono, Dwi Purwantoro, Corri Eriza, Dedi Supriyadi, and Kuji Murtiningrum