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A global hydrology research agenda fit for the 2030s

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journal contribution
posted on 10.10.2019 by Robert Wilby
Global assessments show profound impacts of human activities on freshwater systems that, without action, are expected to reach crisis points in the 2030s. By then, the capacity of natural systems to meet rising demands for water, food and energy could be hampered by emerging signals of anthropogenic climate change. The hydrologic community has always been solution-orientated, but our generation faces perhaps the greatest array of water challenges in human history. Ambitious programmes of research are needed to fill critical data, knowledge and skills gaps. Priorities include filling data sparse places, predicting peak water, understanding the physical drivers of mega droughts, evaluating hyper-resolution models, managing compound hazards, and adjusting water infrastructure designs to climate change. Despite the opportunities presented by big data, we must not lose sight of the deep uncertainties affecting both our raw input data and hydrological models, nor neglect the human dimensions of water system change. Community-scale projects and international research partnerships are needed to connect new hydrological knowledge with most vulnerable communities as well as to achieve more integrated and grounded solutions. With these elements in place, we will be better equipped to meet the global hydrological challenges of the 2030s and beyond.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Hydrology Research

Volume

50

Issue

6

Pages

1464–1480

Publisher

IWA Publishing

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The Author

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Wiley under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

09/10/2019

Publication date

2019-10-25

Copyright date

2019

ISSN

0029-1277

eISSN

2224-7955

Language

en

Depositor

Prof Robert Leonard Wilby

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