Update on the IAHS HELPING Science for Solutions Decade

The next IAHS decade is dedicated to local solutions under the global water crisis. The short name is HELPING, and stands for Hydrology Engaging Local People IN one Global world. Read more in the Concept Note.

HELPING underpins solutions for the water crisis, leaving no catchment or hydrologist behind, in search for scientific evidence to:

·          Accelerate the understanding of the linkages between hydrological processes at local and global scales and their interaction with water resources.
·          Engage with local scientists and societies to learn from local experience, differences in hydrological processes and change around the world, and transfer solutions globally.
·          Synthesise hydrological understanding across the globe and underpin the management of current crises by finding holistic solutions to mitigate future crises.

The Community effort

The decade seeks for a bottom-up process empowered by local hydrologists and scientists using open science and local data/methods when solving local water problems. We envisage that the building of local knowledge and cooperation can inform scientists working under similar situations or facing unexpected events worldwide (e.g. learning from floods or droughts in one catchment will inform hydrologists and water management in other catchments).

After outcomes of several online interactions and workshops during the year, as summarised in the Córdoba document and Vienna document, the new scientific decade was launched during the IUGG General Assembly in Berlin, Germany in July (Fig. 1),  including the selection of a logo (Fig 2.) to represent the decade. The strategic planning document describes how the community’s vision will be translated into action by engaging the IAHS membership. These documents along with comments in the archive of the online Forum are the basis for writing a visionary community paper in HSJ, to which all participants soon will be invited for Author contributions.

Fig 1. The proposed strategic planning process (SPP) version 1.0

Fig. 2. Winning logo for the HELPING Science for Solutions decade voted on by those present at the IUGG Assembly in Berlin.

Way forward

Some 30 Working Groups have been suggested so far and the call is now closed. You can still sign up to an existing working group until the end of September (link).

The working groups are linked to three main themes:

·          HELPING with global and local interactions
·          HELPING with holistic solutions for water security
·          HELPING with cross-cutting goals

The IAHS management team act as a coordinating Steering Group setting up the structure for the decade to facilitate engagement from IAHS Commissions and Working groups. After mid-September an open call will be announced at the IAHS website for leaders of the three Working Group Themes. Leaders will be appointed biennially during the decade as per the previous IAHS Scientific decades (PUB and Panta Rhei, Fig. 3). The IAHS President Berit Arheimer is leading the initial phase 2023-2024. Everyone who signed up as working group members will be invited to an online meeting in November when the Working Groups will be finalised. Another aim is to wrap-up by the end of the year the IAHS HELPING community paper for publication in HSJ by the end of the year.

Keep updated on the time-table and next call for participation at the IAHS website HERE

Fig 3. https://iahs.info/Initiatives/Topic-for-the-Next-IAHS-decade/  



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