Water resources systems being the main link between the people and the climate are affected by human activities (such as land use change) and climate change. Thus, any assumption related to stationarity of the water resources systems characteristics is highly questionable, maybe not valid any more. Direct human interactions with the water cycle are occurring at the small catchment scale while the climate change impacts dominate at the large catchment scale. However, there are examples of the opposite – impacts in large basins like the Aral Sea, the Tchad, and the Nile are caused by water management practices, while the hydrology of small high Alpine catchments with major contributions from glacier runoff is predominantly affected by climate change, with limited human impacts.
There is a clear need for better understanding of complex interactions between water resources and global environment. This conference will focus on complexity and uncertainty as two main characteristics of global change. New tools for solving water resources problems will need to be developed, or existing tools will need to be adapted to respond to the challenges of global change.
Complex dynamic water resources systems, bridging the span between ecosystems to climate, can have tipping points at which a sudden shift to a contrasting dynamic regime may occur. Although predicting such critical points before they are reached is extremely difficult, work in different scientific fields is now suggesting the existence of generic early-warning signals that may indicate for a wide class of water resources systems if a critical threshold is approaching. This conference has prediction as one of the main themes.
THEMES of HydroPredict2012 conference
How can we identify and quantify water-related changes due to direct human interventions
How can we identify and quantify water-related changes due to climate change
How can we quantify/ prognose/ predict the effect/consequences of water-related changes in terms of economic, social and environmental impacts
What are the appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies to reduce vulnerability and to increase the resilience of our water resources systems
Methodology, modelling, prediction and uncertainty