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New IAHS Working Group on the History Of Hydrology

At the IAHS Bureau meeting on 12th December 2022 Keith Beven presented a proposal to create a new IAHS Working Group on the History Of Hydrology and this was approved by the officers.

In this the Centenary year of IAHS it seems appropriate to consider a new international initiative on the History of Hydrology.   Through the enthusiasm of some individuals, there have been past efforts to record some of the history of the science and its institutions (including the IAHS itself in Dan Rosbjerg and John Rodda’s 2019 paper in Hist. Geo Space Sci., 10, 109–118), but these have been somewhat fragmented and often limited in scope.   The Working Group will, of course, be dependent on the enthusiasm and time of already busy individuals.  However, we feel that there a number of areas where it will be possible to make valuable contributions.

The new Working Group will aim to make contributions in the following areas:  

1.      To provide a central repository for information on the History of Hydrology with liaison, links and metadata on the existing initiatives and copies or links to important historical papers from multiple countries.

2.      To encourage more international contributions from countries that are not currently well represented in the existing resources, including the identification of important historical papers from those countries.

3.      To encourage the recording of the contributions of female hydrologists (including interviews with late career female hydrologists).

4.      To encourage the recording of the histories of experimental catchments where important advances in understanding of hydrological processes have been made.

5.      To encourage the recording of the histories of hydrological models and the people who worked with them.

6.      To provide a mechanism for the recording of the history of projects representing good practice in sustainable hydrology for societies under change, building on the Case Studies in Panta Rhei.

How to get involved.

The initial development of the Working Group has been by means of personal contacts but if you would like to be involved in contributing to the Working Group then please send an email to k.beven@lancaster.ac.uk.    A special session on the History of Hydrology will also be held at the IUGG/IAHS meeting in Berlin in 2023.

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