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Sociohydrology: A Paradigm Shift in the Understanding of Complex Human-Water Interactions?

Authors: Matthew Powell*, Texas A&M University, Inci Guneralp, Texas A&M University, Burak Guneralp, Texas A&M University
Topics: Coupled Human and Natural Systems
Keywords: co-evolution, human-water interactions, sociohydrology, review
Session Type: Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Sociohydrology describes the science of the co-evolution and dynamic feedbacks between coupled human and water systems. Studies exploring human-water systems and the methodologies aiming to integrate social and biophysical cycles have existed long before the term’s conception. Nevertheless, sociohydrology has advocated research towards the comprehensive perception of the dynamic integration of human-water systems. The declaration of the 2013-2022 Scientific Decade as Panta Rhei – Everything Flows recognized the importance of interactions and feedbacks between hydrological and social systems: a call to broaden the horizons of sociohydrology. The purpose of this study is to implement a systematic review of the literature on sociohydrology, from the time of its conception until the end of 2018. We have identified 199 publications relating to sociohydrology by using the keywords ‘sociohydrol* or socio-hydrol*’ in the databases Scopus and Web of Science. We use content analysis to determine emerging trends in the application of the sociohydrologic framework as well as study foci, criticisms, and the academic fields from which the contributions are made. In the process, we will identify any gaps in applications areas –geographically and thematically. Our findings will contribute to the ongoing debate regarding the way sociohydrology as a framework contributes to our understanding of how human interact with hydrology and thus developing effective policies to guide these systems towards sustainability and resilience in the face of increasing demand for water and environmental change.

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