Introducing IAHS 
The International Association of Hydrological Sciences

 

Starting point

From its launch in 1922, the activities of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences have helped to solve the pressing problems of water resources existing in many parts of the world. This Association -the oldest and most distinguished international learned society in the water field- serves the needs of humanity through the promotion of science and the stimulation of its applications. IAHS has accomplished this by acting as a catalyst for international cooperation and sound management in the development and use of water resources.

Basic to these endeavours is the pursuit of the science of hydrology. This is the science which ôdeals with the waters above and below the land surfaces of the Earth, their occurrence, circulation and distribution, both in space and time, their biological, chemical and physical properties, their reaction with the environment, including their relations to living thingsö.

The forums of the Association provide for discussion, comparison and publication of the results of research, and initiate, facilitate and coordinate research into those hydrological problems that require international cooperation. They offer a firm scientific basis for the optimal use of water resources systems. This includes educational outreach and the transfer of knowledge on planning, engineering, management and the economic aspects of applied hydrology and water resources.

In a changing world, where diminishing water resources and the hazards of floods, droughts and pollution play an ever increasing role, what could be more important than to improve and disseminate knowledge and understanding of these fields through the science of hydrology?

 

IAHS today

IAHS is a nonprofit-making non-governmental scientific organisation dedicated to the improvement of the well-being of every man, woman and child on this planet through the motivation of the community of scientists and engineers involved in the study and application of hydrology and water resources. The Association is widely known for the vitality of its activities, particularly for its scientific meetings -assemblies, symposia and workshops- and for its publications and research projects. It now has a membership of over 3700 globally, drawn from 129 countries. As there is no membership fee (unlike most other scientific bodies), the Association is accessible to any professionally-interested person worldwide, including many in developing countries and in those countries where the economy is in transition. But IAHS is not a rich organisation: it has no dedicated benefactors. Its main source of income comes from the sales of its publications: Hydrological Sciences Journal, the proceedings of symposia, and special publications, to libraries, IAHS members and other interested parties, worldwide.

 

Governance

The Association is run for its members by its members. Every four years there are elections at the General Assembly for the honorary officers of the Association, elections which are conducted in a fair and open fashion, in accordance with its Statutes and Bylaws. The President, Secretary General, Treasurer, Editor and other officers of the Association form the Bureau, which manages the affairs of IAHS between General Assemblies.

IAHS is one of seven autonomous bodies that together make up the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) founded in 1919. IUGG is one of the members of the International Council for Science (formerly ICSU) with its secretariat in Paris. The Association is a leading member of the International Water Associations Liaison Committee, the committee established to bring together the dozen or so water-orientated international non-governmental organisations. IAHS is an elected member of the World Water Council Board of Governors and collaborates closely with UNESCO, WMO and IAEA through their respective programmes in water. This collaboration, in the case of UNESCO, WMO and IAEA, dates back to the 1960s: IAHS was one of the founders of the International Hydrological Decade (1965-1974) that led to the current International Hydrological Programme in UNESCO. These different links provide a wider stage over which the Association operates, the links to the agencies of the United Nations being particularly important.


 

Scientific Commissions

The activities of the Association are initiated primarily by its nine Scientific Commissions, which deal either with specific aspects of hydrology or with themes that cut across several or all aspects of hydrology. They are the International Commissions on:

Surface Water, ICSW
Groundwater, ICGW
Continental Erosion, ICCE
Snow and Ice, ICSI
Water Quality, ICWQ
Water Resources Systems, ICWRS
Remote Sensing, ICRS
Atmosphere-Soil-Vegetation Relations, ICASVR
Tracers, ICT

The officers of each Commission are elected from the IAHS membership, by the members, every four years. Each Commission has contributed a review of their activities and current work in their field for this publication.

 

Programme

The Associationĺs activities span a four-year cycle between General Assemblies. Recent Assemblies have been at Birmingham, UK, 1999, and Boulder, USA, 1995; the next will be in Sapporo, Japan, in July 2003. Each year the Association and its Commissions organise symposia and workshops in different parts of the world, often in cooperation with UNESCO and WMO. For example, in 2003 the Association is organising and co-sponsoring meetings at Stellenbosch, South Africa; Valdivia, Chile; Montpellier, France; Vienna, Austria; Tallinn, Estonia; Davos, Switzerland; Visakhapatnam, India, and Rome, Italy: each will address a single topic.

Halfway between General Assemblies, the Association organises its Scientific Assemblies. The most recent was held in Maastricht, The Netherlands, in July 2001, and the previous one was in Rabat, Morocco, in 1997. The next is planned for Iguacu, Brazil, in 2005. During the week of a General or Scientific Assembly, there are up to six symposia and ten workshops covering a large number of topics.

For example, at Rabat in 1997, six symposia addressed: Sustainability of Water Resources Under Increasing Uncertainty; Hard Rock Hydrosystems; Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems for the Design and Operation of Water Resources Systems; Freshwater Contamination; Hydrochemistry; and Human Impact on Erosion and Sedimentation. This Assembly had 455 participants, from 53 counties.

 

Projects

The Association undertakes and promotes research projects; for example during the period 1993-1998 much effort was devoted to a sustainable reservoir development and management project. A number of IAHS projects have contributed to the International Hydrological Programme. The International FRIEND Project is worth a special mention, as this has advanced cooperation, hydrological understanding and capacity building regionally, such as in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries, in West Africa and in the Hindu Kush Himalayan Region.

A new IAHS project has been launched on Prediction in Ungauged Basins (PUB), addressing one of the crucial difficulties in the hydrological sciences. As many ungauged basins are located in less developed countries, which cannot afford costly monitoring programmes, establishing an efficient methodology is of vast practical importance for assessment of water resources and building preparedness systems against water-related disasters. The kick-off meeting of the PUB project, held in November 2002 in Brasilia, raised considerable interest amongst many individuals and several supporting bodies worldwide.

Following the success of the IAHS Hydrology 2000 Working Group (which reported in 1987), the Association set up the Hydrology 2020 Working Group in 2001, composed of a dozen hydrologists, aged 35 or less, each from a different country. The aim of the Group is to predict what the science will be like some 15 years ahead when they report in 2005. The Hydrology 2000 Report (IAHS Publ. no. 171) makes very interesting reading today!

 

Publications

The IAHS publications programme started in 1924 with the production of the proceedings of symposia organised by the Association. This series, known as the ôRed Booksö because of their distinctive red covers, reached IAHS Publication no. 100 in 1970 and no. 276 by 2002. The Associationĺs scientific journal was started in 1956. Now called the Hydrological Sciences Journal, it is published bimonthly with about ten papers in English or French in each issue. From time to time a special issue is produced: the most recent (vol. 47(5), 2002) contains invited papers on Ecohydrology. Over the last two years the Journal has risen sharply up the list of 50 water journals in the ISI Journals Citation Index: currently it is ranked fifth with an impact factor of 1.22 (ISI Journals Citation Report, 2001).

A series of Special Publications was started in 1989. The most recent deal with the hydrology and water resources of the River Nile (Special Publ. 5, 1999) and the ecohydrology of South American rivers and wetlands (Special Publ. 6, 2002). A series on snow and ice has been published jointly by IAHS and UNESCO, while UNESCOĺs International Hydrology Series was published by IAHS. In the early 1980s, an informal newsletter was started by the then Secretary General to keep members abreast of IAHS activities. This newsletter has developed into a 24+ page publication, which appears three times a year in 4500 copies.

The IAHS website http://www.cig.ensmp.fr/~iahs contains information, articles and abstracts of scientific papers from these different publications.

 

Outreach

IAHS involves its members as readers of publications, participants in scientific meetings and users of results of research projects, and more actively as authors of articles in IAHS publications, contributors to scientific meetings and to research projects. The benefits derived from these activities and their practical applications at grassroots level are very difficult to quantify, a problem faced by IAHS and all similar bodies.

The IAHS Task Force for Developing Countries (TFDC) helps less developed countries to contribute to hydrological research, improve understanding of their water resources and manage them more effectively. It has accomplished this since 1991 by distributing the Journal and other publications to more than 70 libraries and institutes in some 50 countries free of charge. The aim is to provide scientists and engineers in these countries access to the most recent hydrological literature, so long as this literature is made widely available inside and outside the recipient organisation. The TFDC has also been successful in obtaining funds from outside bodies to support the attendance of members from developing countries at IAHS symposia and assemblies. These funds have been generously donated since 1991 by UNESCO, WMO, UNEP, IAEA, Rotary International, IUGG and ICSU, as well as by a number of private trusts and organisations and by government agencies, including those in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. The UKĺs Department for International Development (DFID) has been very supportive of the Association for a number of years.

 

The future

The six billion or more people on this planet now depend on the worldĺs finite supply of freshwater, but before 2050 there will be two or three million more with even greater needs. Water for drinking, food production, sanitation, power, navigation and a host of other purposes is the basis of civilisation. But at present more than one billion only have water unsafe to drink, and over two billion lack proper sanitation. Hundreds of millions live in places where water is very scarce, a contested resource and where the recurring dangers of floods and droughts may be exacerbated by climate change.

The equitable and sustainable allocation of water resources and the prediction and mitigation of the impacts of extreme events must be based on the comprehensive understanding of these resources gained through cooperation amongst hydrologists and others professionally involved, and through cooperation and solidarity amongst nations. IAHS is a prime medium for maintaining this cooperation.

 
 

Contacts

Information about IAHS and the IAHS Commissions is available from the IAHS web site:
http://www.cig.ensmp.fr/~iahs

For information about IAHS contact:
Dr Pierre Hubert, Secretary General IAHS, Ecole des Mines de Paris, F-77305 Fontainebleau, France.
iahs@ensmp.fr, tel +33 1 64694740, fax +33 1 64694703, http://www.cig.ensmp.fr/~iahs

 

For information about IAHS International Commissions contact their Secretaries:

ICSW, Surface Water
Prof. Siegfried Demuth
, Institute of Hydrology, University of Freiburg,
Fahnenbergplatz, D-79098 Freiburg, Germany.
siegfried.demuth@hydrology.uni-freiburg.de
tel +49 761 2033538, fax +49 761 2033594
http://www.uni-freiburg.de/hydrology/icsw

ICGW, Groundwater
Dr Norio Tase
, Institute of Geoscience, University of Tsukuba,
lbaraki 305-8571, Japan.
tase@atm.geo.tsukuba.ac.jp
tel +81 298 534244, fax +81 298 519764
http://www.envr.tsukuba.ac.jp/~icgw

ICCE, Continental Erosion
Dr Dirk de Boer
, Department of Geography, University of Saskatchewan,
9 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5A5, Canada.
deboer@duke.usask.ca
tel +1 306 9665671, fax +1 306 9665680
http://duke.usask.ca/~deboer/icce/

ICSI, Snow and Ice
Dr Georg Kaser
, Geographical Department, University of Innsbruck,
Innrain 52, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.
georg.kaser@uibk.ac.at
tel +43 512 5075407, fax +43 512 5072895
http://geowww.uibk.ac.at/research/icsi

ICWQ, Water Quality
Prof. Bruce Webb
, School of Geography and Archaeology, University of Exeter,
Amory Building, Rennes Drive, Exeter EX4 4RJ, UK.
b.w.webb@exeter.ac.uk
tel +44 1392 263334, fax +44 1392 263342
http://www.ex.ac.uk/~bwwebb/icwq

ICWRS, Water Resources Systems
Dr Andreas Schumann
, Ruhr University Bochum, Institute for Hydrology and Water Resources Management,
D-44780 Bochum, Germany.

andreas.schumann@ruhr-uni-bochum.de

tel +49 234 7002688, fax +49 234 3214153
http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/iahs-icwrs

ICRS, Remote Sensing
Dr Alain Pietronlro
, National Water Research Institute,
11 Innovation Blvd, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 3H5, Canada.
al.pietroniro@ec.gc.ca
tel +1 306 9754394, fax +1 306 9755143
http://hydrolab.arsusda.gov/~jritchie/

ICASVR, Atmosphere-Soil-Vegetation Relations
Dr Jirka Simunek
, US Salinity Laboratory, USDA,
ARS, 450 W. Big Springs Road, Riverside, California 92507, USA.
jsimunek@ussl.ars.usda.gov
tel +1 909 3694865, fax +1 909 3424964
 

ICT, Tracers
Prof. Chris Loibundgut
, Institute of Hydrology, University of Freiburg,
Fahnenbergplatz, D-79098 Freiburg, Germany.
chris.leibundgut@hydologyuni-freiburg.de
tel +49 761 2033531, fax +49 761 2033594
http://www.lgih.ulg.ac.be/ict

 

 

IAHS Elections Sapporo 2003

 The Nomination Panel (for the Bureau and for ICSW, ICGW, ICWQ, ICWRS, ICASVR and ICT) and the Nominations Groups of ICSI, ICCE and ICRS have now completed their work and N.J. Peters, Chairman of the Nomination Panel, has established the following table, containing the current list of nominees with nomination panel/group endorsement.

 

Bureau
or Commission

Office

Nominee

Country

IAHS Nomination Panel ()/ Commission Nomination Group ()

IAHS

President

Askew

Australia

 

Secretary

Loaiciga

USA

 

 

Secretary

Hubert

France

 

VP

Leibundgut

Germany

 

 

VP

Xia

P.R. China

 

VP

Rubin

USA

 

VP

Heathwaite

UK

 

 

 

 

 

ICASVR

VP

Franks

Australia

 

VP

Boegh

Denmark

 

 

 

 

 

ICCE

President

Bogen

Norway

 

Secretary

de Boer

Canada

 

VP

Horowitz

USA

 

VP

Olley

Australia

 

VP

Golosov

Russia

 

VP

Summer

Austria

 

VP

Laronne

Israel

 

 

 

 

 

 

ICGW

President

Hill

USA

 

Secretary

Fiori

Italy

 

Secretary

Christensen

Denmark

 

 

VP

Ashour

Eygpt

 

VP

Barker

Canada

 

VP

Bellin

Italy

 

 

 

 

 

ICRS

President

Pietroniro

Canada

 

Secretary

Owe

USA

 

VP

Koike

Japan

 

VP

Sandholt

Denmark

 

VP

Cluckie

UK

 

 

 

 

 

ICSI

President

Kaser

Austria

 

Secretary

Jansson

Sweden

 

VP

Hagen

Norway

 

VP

Goto-Azuma

Japan

 

VP

Steffen

USA

 

VP

Hasnain

India

 

 

 

 

 

 

ICSW

President

Demuth

Germany

 

Secretary

Hisdal

Norway

 

VP

Hughes

South Africa

 

VP

Servat

France

 

VP

Shrestha

Nepal

 

 

 

 

 

ICT

President

Gibson

Canada

Secretary

Rodhe

Sweden

VP

Lorenz

South Africa

VP

Soulsby

UK

VP

Tanaka

Japan

 

 

 

 

 

ICWQ

President

Webb

UK

 

Secretary

Heininger

Germany

 

VP

Vengosh

Israel

 

VP

Krysanova

Germany/Russia

 

VP

Sharma

India

 

 

 

 

 

ICWRS

President

Savenije

Netherlands

 

Secretary

Schumann

Germany

 

VP

Bl÷schl

Austria

 

 

VP

Mari˝o

USA

 

VP

G÷rgens

South Africa

 

VP

Kojiri

Japan