ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7643-0304
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine
SOCIO-HYDROLOGY: THE PROS AND CONS OF A NEW INTERDISCIPLINARY FIELD OF RESEARCH
The purpose of the survey study was to characterize the state of affairs in sociohydrology, the concept of which began to actively gain positions in the world in the early 2000s. The publication of 2012 by M. Sivapalan et al. is considered to be the reference in the appearance of a statement about a certain systematic design of sociohydrology. In it, the authors defined sociohydrology as a new science that studies dynamic interactions and feedbacks between water and humans. A significant number of researchers have taken up the idea of new science. Analysis of publications in international journals on topics related to sociohydrology showed that in scientific periodicals during 2012–2020. About 180 articles were published, cited about 4000 times according to the Web of Science. The main content of research in the field of sociohydrology boils down to three aspects: compromise in the interconnected system “man – water”; interests in water resources management; virtual research of water in a connected system “man – water”.
However, the scientific hydrological community did not unanimously accept the idea of the emergence of new science. Some hydrological scientists believe that sociohydrology is a field of hydrology. They note that there is a tendency in sociohydrology publications to borrow fashionable syntaxes and popular concepts from other fields, but it does not take into account the previous and current advances in the study of human-water related systems, which have already been obtained in hydrology. As a conclusion to this review article on sociohydrology, one can support the opinion of K. Madani and M. Shafiee-Jood, who note that the valuable contribution of sociohydrologists lies not in their “new science”, models, ambitious statements, but in their persistence and reminding hydrologists of the need to take into account the human factor.
With regard to the Ukrainian realities in the context of sociohydrology, or studies of the “man – water” system, practical and scientific aspects can be noted: a) practical – after the signing of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement (2014), a system of integrated water resources management is being implemented in Ukraine by implementing the provisions of the EU Water Framework Directive into the practice of water relations; by 2024, river basin management plans should be developed, which to a certain extent take into account the interrelated manifestations of the linked system “man – water”; b) scientific – Ukrainian scientists need to use the world experience in applying research methods to integrate hydrological and socio-economic aspects of water resources planning, given that there are social, economic and hydrological subsystems in socio-hydrological systems that are causally related; such an approach would allow, for example, to give a clear answer to the question about the significance of the Dnieper cascade of reservoirs for the country.
Keywords: socio-hydrology, human-water system, socio-hydrological modeling, integrated water resources management, reservoirs, hydrology.
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Received Editorial Board 10.05.2021
Accepted for publication 26.05.2021