Department of Earth Sciences

Water and Society

Human societies strongly rely on access to water resources, which are essential to support livelihoods and provide favorable conditions for sustainable development. While benefiting from water services and struggling with water-related disasters (floods and droughts), humans also alter the hydrological regime by building dams, canals, levees, etc... This work aims to improve our understanding of human-water interactions, and the dynamics emerging from the feedbacks between hydrological and social processes.

The purpose of this project is to explore water-related issues and their link to sustainable development. To this end, it aims to better understand the dynamic relationships between hydrology and societies. This also require exploring how societies change the hydrological regime while, at the same time, hydrological changes simultaneously shape societies, i.e. socio-hydrology.

At the department, the studies dealing with the interface between water and society are organized around three main research lines:

  • Global hydrology
  • Engineering hydrology
  • Socio-hydrology

The project activities are partly funded by VR and FORMAS and linked to the new scientific decade Panta Rhei (2013–2022) of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS). The work is also carried out in support of three strategic research goals of the department: natural hazards, climate and sustainable development.

Contacts: Giuliano Di Baldassarre and Sven Halldin

Inaugural lecture: Let’s talk about uncertainty!