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Science for Water Solutions Decade

The next IAHS decade will be dedicated to local solutions under the global water crisis. The short name will be HELPING, and stand for Hydrology Engaging Local People IN one Global world.

The new topic makes a nice trilogy with the previous two decades, ranging from Predictions (PUB) to Change (Panta Rhei) to Solutions (HELPING).

Explanation of Acronym

Helping = we need to collaborate, share and help each other to overcome the water crisis.

Hydrology = Hydrological sciences should underpin management and governance of water resources; thus, we need better understanding of impact from global drivers at local scales and vice versa.

Engaging = co-creation of knowledge includes shared capacity, common learning and community engagement. 

Local = water phenomena and problems are often unique at the local scale and solutions must therefore be solved considering local needs and knowledge.

People = the purpose is to connect people (scientists, practitioners, communicators and the general public) with similar interests to co-design, accumulate and transfer hydrological knowledge worldwide. 

IN one = together we can advance science faster than individually to overcome shared or similar challenges.

Global world = the Planet is in an emergency state with complex water-cycle interactions, which needs urgent actions to not leave anybody or any catchment behind.

Community Process

The topic of the new decade distilled from the outcome of the Córdoba workshop and the preceding vivid discussions online, followed by a simple survey on preference of selected topics. 130 persons answered on which topic they wanted to engage with (multiple choices) resulting in top scores for:

·         global and local hydrological interactions (60%);
·         water security (40%);
·         empowering people and science communication (35%).

Based on this the selected writing team (see below) has now launched a condensed Concept Note, which is found at the IAHS website under Initiatives/Scientific Decade. 

Actions and What to do

The next step is to define actions, work clusters and leaders for initiating the new decade. The Forum will be open for suggested themes and volunteers. In addition, two splinter meetings will be held at EGU on Thursday 27 April and a dedicated workshop will be held at TU Wien on Saturday the 29 April. Register here!

Click here to access more information about the Next Decade.

Workshop agenda 29 April at Technical University of Vienna

09.00 – 10.00 Intro and discussion of overall aim and expected outcome
10.00 – 10.30 BREAK
10.30 – 12.00 Brainstorming ideas on Actions and results
12.00 – 12.30 Reporting in Plenum
12.30 – 13.00 Discussion, Synthesis and Decision
13.00 – 14.00 LUNCH
14.00 – 15.00 Clustering the defined actions
15.00 – 15.30 Discussion and Decision
15.00 – 16.00 Wrap-up and Way forward
16.00 THE END


The original outcome document was consolidated from reflective and creative input by the IAHS community in the Cordoba workshop (50 persons) during three days; online meetings (100 persons) in three time-zones; posts in a forum (40) of the IAHS website. The condensed concept note was drafted by a smaller team of writers (15 persons) who contributed actively in organising the process and represents different parts of IAHS:

  • The IAHS Officers and Córdoba workshop organisers: Berit Arheimer, Christophe Cudennec, Günter Blöschl, Salvatore Grimaldi, Maria José Polo
  • Online conveners or co-conveners: Barry Cloke, Chris Leong, Stacey Archfield, Giova Mosquera, Melody Sandells, Jean-Marie Kileshye Onema
  • The Early Career Committee: Moctar Dembélé, Bertil Nlend
  • Early carrier opinion paper in HSJ (lead author): Tessa van Hateren
  • South America initiative: Pedro Chaffe
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