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The Prague Statement

A Need for Action to Develop Water Resources Management Systems

by the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS)

We, the delegates to the conference of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences in Prague, June 20-26, 2015 are deeply concerned by the water problems humanity is experiencing with increasing frequency and severity and express the following concerns and recommendations. The hydrosphere is experiencing a global water crisis caused by uneven freshwater availability in space and time, overexploitation, environmental degradation and the more frequent occurrence of floods and droughts.

We call upon all local, regional and national governments and urge them to develop effective solutions to the water crisis by developing effective water resources management systems. In order to address problems of freshwater availability and supply, the full spectrum of technical, organisational, economic, political, legal and social approaches should be considered, and implemented as needed. In order to address flood risks, a holistic approach of integrated flood risk management should be adopted that considers all phases of the disaster cycle – mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.

We also call upon members of the international scientific community and urge them to develop practical and implementable methods and techniques to support adaptation of water resources management systems to the current and future challenges. Adaptation of water resources management systems should build on observed evidence and rigorous system understanding. An improved understanding of hydrological processes is therefore needed, in particular at the local scale, and put into the context of broader river basin and groundwater issues.

Finally, we call upon the research funding agencies at both national and international levels and urge them to provide funding that is commensurate with the challenges of the global water crisis. Enhanced funding is needed to improve the understanding of hydrological processes at all scales. Fundamental research is equally important as applied research, and is equally likely to become societally relevant, albeit over longer time scales. 

Adopted by acclamation, in the city of Prague, Czech Republic, on this 26th day of June 2015.

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