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Hydrological Science and Water Security: Past, Present and Future

The new publication Hydrological Science and Water Security: Past, Present and Future presents the outcomes of the 11th Kovacs Colloquium held at UNESCO in Paris from 16 to 17 June 2014, which addressed the emergence and development of water security concepts over the past decades, current thinking and perspectives, and likely developments in the future.

The colloquium was the continuation of a series of biennial international scientific meetings organized jointly by the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) of UNESCO and the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) in the most challenging fields of water resources research. Particular attention was given to the new IAHS decade of research “Panta Rhei – Change in Hydrology and Society” and its relevance to Water Security and the link with the current phase of the Programme (IHP VIII), which is dedicated to water security.

Water Security is defined by the as “the capacity of a population to safeguard access to adequate quantities of water of acceptable quality for sustaining human and ecosystem health on a watershed basis, and to ensure efficient protection of life and property against water related hazards – floods, landslides, land subsidence and droughts” Thus, Water Security not only addresses the threats posed by floods, droughts and pollution spills to human societies, but also includes the impacts of inadequate supplies of water, both in quantity and quality, for their critically important support to food and energy production, for domestic and industrial purposes, and for sustaining ecosystem productivity.

The book presents the contributions of invited keynote speakers as well as extended abstracts summarizing the posters presented during the Colloquium. These contributions provide a comprehensive overview of water security issues, by leading experts providing a wide variety of perspectives from around the world.

These include keynote papers such as “Panta Rhei, the new science decade of IAHS” by Hubert H.G. Savenije, “Water Security – science and management challenges” by Howard S. Wheater, “Anthropocene Futures and Water Security” by Frans Berkhout, “Hydrological extremes and security” by Zbigniew W. Kudzewicz & Piotr Matczak, and more.

It was edited by Christopher Cudennec, Siegfried Demuth, Anil Mishra, and Gordon Young.

The publication is available online.