Given the complexity of the challenges and the required ammunition for path breaking research, a wide spectrum of experts and practitioners from the hydrology, governance, sociology, behavioural sciences, water economics, water technology, engineering and sociohydrology (SH) communities, along with a cross-section of practicing water managers and stakeholders, will be invited to participate in the first conference on sociohydrology to be held in Delft 6 - 8 September 2021.
The conference will discuss and debate selected classes of questions, challenges and phenomena that participating community finds most urgent to unravel and understand in the face of the grand sustainability challenges. The conference will focus on understanding the dynamics underlying such phenomena through discussions of relevant real-world case studies from around the world, both current and historical. It will reveal how sociohydrology syncretizes with other disciplines and frameworks such as Socio-Ecological System frameworks. For example, the denial of anthropogenic causes of the worsening water crises in spite of overwhelming scientific evidence in its favour is one such global phenomenon that has yet to be studied in depth. Farmers around the world are growing high value crops in spite of the long-term risks involved (and biases and lock-ins that are hard to change), while irrigation efficiency in water scarce places is leading to dwindling ground water tables are other examples of well observed patterns that deserve our urgent attention.
The conference will be set around the water management and water governance puzzles, exploring them along three main pillars: theories and concepts (quantitative or qualitative), empirical studies including surveys and citizen science as methods for understanding feedbacks, and the validation of theories/concepts based on diverse case studies. Water (in)justice is one example of common concern to diverse disciplines that deals with uneven distribution of hydrological risk, uneven distribution of water contamination, differentiated access to water, and environmental justice.