Вісник Київського національного університету імені Тараса Шевченка


Bulletin of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv



Khilchevskyi V.
ORCID  iD: 0000-0001-7643-0304 

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine



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.


DOI: http://doi.org/10.17721/1728-2721.2021.78-79.1


Anderson, R.E., Beard, L.S., 2010. Geology of the Lake Mead region. An overview: Miocene Tectonics of the Lake Mead Region, Central Basin and Range. Geological Society of America. DOI:10.1130/2010.2463(01).

Baldassarre, G., Nohrstedt, D., Mård, J., Burchardt, S., Albin, C., Bondesson, S., Breinl, K., Deegan, F.M., Fuentes, D., 2018. An Integrative Research Framework to Unravel the Interplay of Natural Hazards and Vulnerabilities. Earth’s Future, 6(3), 305–310. DOI: 10.1002/2017EF000764

Blair, P., Buytaert, W., 2016. Socio-hydrological modelling: a review asking “why, what and how?”. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 20(1), 443–478. DOI: 10.5194/hess-20-443-2016

Di Baldassarre, G., Viglione, A., Carr, G., Kuil, L., Salinas J.L., Blöschl, G., 2013. Socio-hydrology: conceptualising human-flood interactions. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 17(8), 3295–3303. DOI:10.5194/hess-17-3295- 2013.5

Di Baldassarre, G., Wanders, N., AghaKouchak, A., Kuil, L., Rangecroft, S., Veldkamp, T. I. E., Garcia, M., van Oel, P. R., Breinl, K., 2018. Water shortages worsened by reservoir effects. Nature Sustainability, 1(11), 617- 622. DOI: 10.1038/s41893-018-0159-0

Falkenmark, M., 1979. Main problems of water use and transfer of technology. GeoJournal, 1979, 3, 435–443.

Flörke, M., Schneider, C., McDonald, R.I., 2018. Water competition between cities and agriculture driven by climate change and urban growth. Nature Sustainability, 1(1), 51–58. DOI:10.1038/s41893-017-0006-8.

Hedberg, T., 2018. The unintended consequences of dams and reservoirs. Press release: Uppsala University, Sweden. Retrieved from https://www.uu.se/en/press/press-release/?id=4512&area=3%2C8&typ=pm&lang=en

Hemati, A., Rippy, M.A., Grant, S.B., Davis, K., Feldman, D., 2016. Deconstructing Demand: The Anthropogenic and Climatic Drivers of Urban Water Consumption. Environmental Science & Technology, 50(23), 12557– 12566. DOI:10.1021/acs.est.6b02938

Hutton, N.S., Tobin, G.A., Montz, B.E., 2018. The levee effect revisited: Processes and policies enabling development in Yuba County, California. Journal of Flood Risk Management, 12(3), e12469. DOI:10.1111/jfr3.12469. ISSN 1753-318X

Khilchevskyi, V., Grebin, V., Dubniak, S., Zabokrytska, M., Bolbot, H., 2021. Large and small reservoirs of Ukraine. Journal of Water and Land Development. 2021. No. 49 (IV–VI).

Khilchevskyi, V., Karamushka, V., 2021. Global Water Resources: Distribution and Demand. In: Leal Filho, W., Azul, A.M., Brandli, L., Lange Salvia, A., Wall, T. (eds) Clean Water and Sanitation. Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-70061- 8_101-1

Konar, M., Garcia, M., Sanderson, M.R., Yu, D.J., Sivapalan, M., 2019. Expanding the scope and foundation of sociohydrology as the science of coupled human‐water systems. Water Resources Research, 55, 1-14. DOI:10.1029/2018WR024088

Koutsoyiannis, D., 2011. Review Report of “Socio-Hydrology: A New Science of People and Water”; National Technical University of Athens: Athens, Greece.. Retrieved from http://www.itia.ntua.gr/en/docinfo/1991/

Madani, K., Shafiee-Jood, M., 2020. Socio-Hydrology: A New Understanding to Unite or a New Science to Divide?. Water. 12, 1941, 1-26. DOI: 10.3390/w12071941

McCurley, K.L., Jawitz., J.W., 2017. Hyphenated hydrology: Interdisciplinary evolution of water resource science. Water Resources Research, 53, 2972–2982. DOI: 10.1002/2016WR019835

Nüsser, M., 2017. Socio-hydrology: A New Perspective on Mountain Waterscapes at the Nexus of Natural and Social Processes. Mountain Research and Development, 37(4), 518-520. DOI: 10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL- D-17-00101.1

Seidl, R., Barthel, R., 2017. Linking scientific disciplines: Hydrology and social sciences. Journal of Hydrology, 550, 441–452. DOI: 10.1016 / J.JHYDROL.2017.05.008

Shiau, J.T., 2003. Water Release Policy Effects on the Shortage Characteristics for the Shihmen Reservoir System during Droughts. Water  Resources  Management,  17(6),  463–480.  DOI:10.1023/b:warm.0000004958.93250.8a. ISSN 0920-4741.

Sivakumar, B., 2012. Socio-hydrology: Not a new science, but a recycled and re-worded hydrosociology. Hydrological Processes, 26, 3788–3790.

Sivapalan, M., 2015. Debates – Perspectives on socio-hydrology: Changing water systems and the ”tyranny of small problems” – Socio- hydrology. Water Resources Research, (51)6, 4795–4805. DOI. 10.1002/ 2015WR017080

Sivapalan, M., Blöschl, G., 2015. Time scale interactions and the coevolution of humans and water. Water Resources Research.,51 (9), 6988– 7022. DOI:10.1002/2015WR017896

Sivapalan, M., Savenije, H., Blöschl, G., 2012. Socio-hydrology: A new science of people and water.. Hydrological Processes, 26 (8), 1270–1276. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.8426

Srinivasan, V., Lambin, E.F., Gorelick, S.M., Thompson, B.H., Rozelle, S., 2012. The nature and causes of the global water crisis: Syndromes from a meta-analysis of coupled human-water studies. Water Resources Research, 48 (10), W 10516. DOI:10.1029/2011WR011087

Su, Y., Kern, J.D., Denaro, S., Hill, J., Reed, P., Sun, Y., Cohen, J., Characklis, G.W., 2020. An open source model for quantifying risks in bulk electric power systems from spatially and temporally correlated hydrometeorological processes. Environmental Modelling and Software. 126. 1-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2020.104667

Sung, K., Jeong, H., Sangwan, N., Yu, D.J., 2018. Effects of flood control strategies on flood resilience under sociohydrological disturbances. Water Resources Research, 54, 2661–2680. DOI: 10.1002/2017WR021440

Viglione, A., Di Baldassarre, G., Brandimarte, L., Kuil, L., Carr, G., Salinas J.L., Scolobig, A., Blöschl. G., 2014. Insights from socio-hydrology modelling on dealing with flood risk – Roles of collective memory, risk-taking attitude and trust // Journal of Hydrology, 518, 71–82. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.01.018

Vogel, R.M., Lall, U., Cai, X., Rajagopalan, B., Weiskel, P.K., Hooper, R.P. Matalas N.C., 2015. Hydrology: The interdisciplinary science of water. Water Resources Research, 51, 4409–4430. DOI: 10.1002/2015WR017049

Wesselink, A., Kooy, M., Warner, J., 2017. Socio-hydrology and hydrosocial analysis: toward dialogues across disciplines. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Water, 4 (2), e1196. DOI: 10.1002/wat2.1196

Xu, L., Gober, P., Wheater, H.S., Kajikawa, Y., 2018. Reframing socio- hydrological research to include a social science perspective. Journal of Hydrology, 563, 76–83. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2018.05.061

Xu, Z., Yang, Z., Cai, X., Yin X., 2020. Modeling framework for reservoir capacity planning accounting for fish migration. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 146. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943- 5452.0001170

Download (.pdf)

Suggested citation:

Khilchevskyi, V., 2021. Socio-hydrology: the pros and cons of a new interdisciplinary field of research. Visnyk Kyivskogo nacionalnogo universytetu imeni Tarasa Shevchenka, Geografiya [Bulletin of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Geography], 1/2 (78/79), 9-13 (in Ukranian, abstr. in  English), DOI: 10.17721/1728-2721.2021.78-79.1

Received Editorial Board 10.05.2021
Accepted for publication 26.05.2021