Welcome to the official website of the 9th International Water Resources Management Conference of International Association of Hydrological Sciences.

Welcome to the official website of the 9th International Water Resources Management Conference of International Association of Hydrological Sciences.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the conference has been cancelled.


Location: Rydges Esplanade Resort, Cairns


Water resource management in a changing world: economic, environmental and societal tradeoffs and synergies

Object and themes

The aim of this conference is to bring together experts from different countries to advance water resource management across the globe, particularly in light of the changes impacting water resources. This includes the impacts of climate change, population growth, land use/cover change, changing social perceptions and interests, as well as changes in the policy setting. This will consider both water quantity and quality, and focus on the hydrological aspects, as well as the connections between hydrology and other disciplines (e.g. ecology, agronomy, social science, policy research).

This conference is part of the series of IWRM conferences organised by IAHS-ICWRS, and is also linked to the Panta Rhei Scientific Decade (2013-2022) of the IAHS. The conference will focus on a range of water resource management methodologies and issues, including:

Integrated Water Resource Management: successes and failures

1.  Balancing economic, social and environmental needs and desires (UPH22)

2.  Managing environmental flows to maintain the ecological worth of rivers and receiving bodies (e.g. lakes, wetlands, estuaries, reefs)

3.   Impact of water resource management on public health

4.   Allowing for spatio-temporal distribution of water resources

5.    Improving water resource allocation, taking into consideration the breadth of potential users

6.    Risk-based management of water resources: handling uncertainty in model outputs

Papers related to selected questions arising the “Unsolved Problems in Hydrology” initiative and how these relate to water resource management are also invited. Particular question of interest is here question 22: What are the synergies and tradeoffs between societal goals related to water management (e.g. water-environment-energy-food-health)?

During the conference, a session will be held to develop potential sub-questions of UPH 22, but other questions are relevant too, especially:

UPH 1. Is the hydrological cycle regionally accelerating/decelerating under climate and environmental change, and are there tipping points (irreversible changes)?

UPH 3. What are the mechanisms by which climate change and water use alter ephemeral rivers and groundwater in (semi-) arid regions?

UPH 4. What are the impacts of land cover change and soil disturbances on water and energy fluxes at the land surface, and on the resulting groundwater recharge?

UPH 9. How do flood-rich and drought-rich periods arise, are they changing, and if so why?

UPH 10. Why are runoff extremes in some catchments more sensitive to land-use/cover and geomorphic change than in others?

UPH 18. How can we extract information from available data on human and water systems in order to inform the building process of socio-hydrological models and conceptualisations?

UPH 23. What is the role of water in migration, urbanisation and the dynamics of human civilisations, and what are the implications for contemporary water management?

Panta Rhei session

Title: Future of Water Resource Management: Panta Rhei and Beyond
The Panta Rhei Science Decade (2013-2022) of IAHS is aimed at helping to make improved predictions of the dynamics of hydrology and water resources to support sustainable water management. The dominant paradigm of water management is Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM), which has typically involved integration across the entire hydrological cycle, accommodating different water users and including engineering, economic, social, ecological, and legal aspects, and accounting for multiple spatial scales, such as upstream/downstream perspectives. A particular focus of Panta Rhei, in the context of IWRM, has been on the changing interface between the water environment and society in the Anthropocene, resulting from bidirectional socio-hydrologic feedbacks between water and human systems. Failure to account for these feedbacks has been the cause of the water crises experienced in many parts of the world.
This session seeks contributions to the study of coupled human-water system dynamics and management in a variety of contexts, including floods, droughts, water quality and environmental degradation, through application of a wide range of socio-hydrologic methods, such as place-based empirical studies, system dynamics and agent-based models, comparative studies, and data-model syntheses. A particular ambition of the session, in view of the impending closure of the Panta Rhei decade in 2022 is to take stock of the progress made over the decade, and identify areas that need particular attention beyond the Panta Rhei decade. For this reason, we also seek community perspectives on the ways forward, which can be channelled towards developing several big picture review/vision papers.