Arriving at a scientific concensus in the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS)

TitleArriving at a scientific concensus in the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS)
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsTakeuchi K., Rango A.
Conference NameFall Meeting
Date PublishedDecember 10-14,
Conference LocationSan Francisco, CA
ARIS Log Number129547
AbstractThe International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) Bureau decided IAHS should become more proactive by focusing on worldwide water problems and developing research programs to address these problems. Particularly, IAHS needs to address global water issues through direct involvement in policy-oriented activities such as those of the World Water Council and World Water Forum 3. IAHS plans to take strong leadership in such programs by demonstrating scientific solutions to problems of hydrologic uncertainty and resulting improvements for water management. IAHS built consensus on a few critical water resources issues and identified the research needed for solutions. First, a unique science discussion was initiated over the Internet. Discussions were first dominated by IAHS officers with responsibilities to promote such discussion, but the it soon spread to individual members and interested people outside IAHS. Many exchanges occurred and numerous areas of research focus were proposed. One proposal that received enthusiastic support was research on ungaged basins. It was accepted as a preliminary IAHS focus because of the need for fundamental research and its relevance to societal needs in all countries. This focus topic was discussed at the 6th Scientific Assembly of IAHS at Maastricht, The Netherlands, in July 2001 during a workshop on the science agenda of IAHS. The participants recommended establishing a working group on prediction of ungaged basins to hold open discussion meetings and workshops to define the appropriate research approaches. A work group on global water assessments was also recommended. The leadership of IAHS has been pleased with the process used and considers this one example of successful consensus building.