Lecture: Changing Water Systems and the “Tyranny of Small Problems” – Socio-hydrology

The Peter Wall Institute presents: International Visiting Research Scholar – Dr. Murugesu Sivapalan

Changing Water Systems and the “Tyranny of Small Problems” – Socio-hydrology

Forest Sciences Centre, Room 1005, UBC, Vancouver

We are well and truly in the Anthropocene. The interactions and feedbacks between human actions and water cycle dynamics on the planet, combined with the evolution of human norms/values in relation to water, are throwing up a range of emergent “big problems”. Understanding and offering sustainable solutions to these “big problems” require a broadening of hydrologic science to embrace the perspectives of both social and natural scientists. The new science of socio-hydrology was introduced with this in mind. Bringing together the perspectives of both social and natural scientists can help identify potential “alternative” solutions to otherwise intractable problems.

Professor Murugesu Sivapalan, a hydrologist, is presently at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Prior to this, he taught at the University of
Western Australia. He obtained his PhD from Princeton University. He was founding chair of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) Decade on Predictions in Ungauged Basins (2003-1012) initiative. Dr Sivapalan is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), and is the recipient of the John Dalton Medal (EGU), the International Hydrology Prize (IAHS/WMO/UNESCO) and the Robert Horton Medal (AGU).

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