International Association of Hydrological Sciences Association Internationale des Sciences Hydrologique

About IAHS

The International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) support hydrology and related sciences as a non-profit, non-governmental charity registered in the UK with 10,000 members across 150 countries. It runs under the global umbrella of the International Science Council (ISC) and The International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG). IAHS embody more than 100 years of collaborative work, contributions to an extensive programme of conferences and workshops and IAHS publications.

Our Vision

Inclusive scientific knowledge exchange in hydrology for sustainable development in a changing world.

Our Mission

Collectively advance and promote hydrological sciences worldwide - contributing to interdisciplinary understanding of water-cycle processes, sustainable use of water resources and risk mitigation.

 

Our CORE VALUES

IAHS Statement on commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion

IAHS has always had an inherent mission for international, open, and cooperative science. Therefore, the IAHS mission is one that inherently strives for equality, diversity, and inclusion with respect to geographic origin, ethnicity, language, class, caste, culture, sexual orientation, age, career stage, gender identity or expression, or ability. 

However, there is a growing body of research indicating that "meritocracy" is a myth (e.g., van Dijk et al., 2020) and IAHS recognizes that hydrology, equally to other subjects in academia, has been built on structures and biases that have made our current systems inequitable. These structures and biases control which viewpoints are published, who is rewarded, who is mentored, who is provided with resources, and ultimately who succeeds to train the next generation of hydrologists. 

As IAHS celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2022, this event has given us the opportunity to reflect on how our actions can more closely reflect the core IAHS mission. 

Background 

The idea of an International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) was first proposed, and immediately materialised with the “Section of Scientific Hydrology”, in Rome in 1922 at the General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) to specifically address issues of hydrology and the treatment of hydrology as a scientific discipline (https://iahs.info/About-IAHS/History-of-IAHS/History-by-.do). This evolved into IAHS, within IUGG and the more general International Council for Science, now merged into the International Science Council (ISC), making IAHS the oldest international scientific community of hydrological scientists. IAHS has its legal and financial entity as IAHS Ltd, a not-for-profit charity and limited company in the United Kingdom. 

Within IUGG, IAHS promotes the study of all aspects of hydrology through discussion, comparison, and publication of research results and through the initiation of research that requires international cooperation. In the alignment with the ISC, IAHS follows the ISC science policy, that states “all have a right to share in and to benefit from advances in science and technology, …the right to engage in scientific enquiry, to pursue and communicate knowledge, and to associate freely in such activities.”  

Current activities

With equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) central to the IAHS mission, IAHS has reduced barriers to knowledge and access to meetings. Membership of IAHS is free. The two IAHS Journals, the Hydrological Sciences Journal (HSJ) and the Proceedings of IAHS (PIAHS), have long traditions and a rich history of seeking to provide a publication outlet for under-represented science and scientists in hydrology. Online access to HSJ is available for free for members in financially disadvantaged countries, and there is historical dissemination of publications to partnering libraries across the world. Furthermore, PIAHS is fully open-access and we have made available to view and download free online nearly all our “Red Books” – the common name for the Proceedings and Reports of IAHS, which commenced in 1924 and is the predecessor to PIAHS.

For IAHS and IUGG assemblies, the locations of meetings are rotating in all continents. IAHS has always had in place a policy to raise funds and offer traveling grants to attend their conferences. As of 2019, IAHS now also offers the Sivapalan Young Scientists Travel Award (SYSTA), which provides travel assistance to IAHS meetings for scientists who have completed their PhD less than 5 years ago and grew up and now reside in a financially disadvantaged country. The SYSTA is an example of one mechanism that formalizes these travel award procedures and intensifies support for candidates from under-represented groups in the hydrological sciences. 

IAHS has also been at the front of special task forces, committees, and initiatives central to our mission. Early career events have been an integral part of our assemblies for many years already and the Early Career Committee was established in 2017. The IAHS Committee for Africa was established in 2018 with the aims of increasing participation of early career African hydrologists in activities of IAHS, supporting and mentoring the hydrological community and networking activities, strengthening ongoing activities and connecting the hydrological community within Africa and with the global stage. IAHS has contributed to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Recommendation on Open Science, which provides an international framework for open science, and expresses the common will of its member nations to strengthen international scientific cooperation.

Next steps

Using the frameworks of Ali et al. (2021) and Wong et al. (2020), IAHS will also be working to adopt a code of ethics and code of conduct for the organization, its leadership, conference behavior and to update, where necessary, codes of conduct for behavior for reviewers of the IAHS Hydrological Sciences Journal and PIAHS series, and reward systems in the organization. 

IAHS has convened a Task Force on EDI that will initially (1) understand which groups are underrepresented and in what ways (e.g., membership, leadership positions), (2) understand and include the EDI concerns of the full membership body through diverse representation on the Task Force and solicitation outside the Task Force, if needed, and (3) develop an action plan to present to the IAHS Bureau for approval. The Task Force should also consider, in consultation with the HSJ and PIAHS editors, an inclusive and equitable publishing approach for local collaborators in developing countries and a strong commitment to request reviews and cite work from those in developing countries and underrepresented groups. 

References: 

Ali, H.N., Sheffield, S.L., Bauer, J.E. et al., 2021, An actionable anti-racism plan for geoscience organizations. Nat Commun 12, 3794, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23936-w.

van Dijk, H., Kooij, D., Karanika-Murray, M., De Vos, A., & Meyer, B., 2020, Meritocracy a myth? A multilevel perspective of how social inequality accumulates through work. Organizational Psychology Review, 10(3–4), 240-269. https://doi.org/10.1177/2041386620930063.

Wong, C., Ballegooyen, K., Ignace, L., (Gùdia) Johnson, M.J. and Swanson, H., 2020, Towards reconciliation: 10 Calls to Action to natural scientists working in Canada. FACETS. 5(1): 769-783. https://doi.org/10.1139/facets-2020-0005.