Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 541047
Title What is the role of the model in socio-hydrology? Discussion of “Prediction in a socio-hydrological world”*
Author(s) Melsen, Lieke Anna; Vos, Jeroen; Boelens, Rutgerd
Source Hydrological Sciences Journal 63 (2018)9. - ISSN 0262-6667 - p. 1435 - 1443.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/02626667.2018.1499025
Department(s) Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management
Wageningen Institute for Environment and Climate Research
Water Resources Management
WASS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) modelling - prediction - socio-hydrology - socio-natural relationships - transdisciplinarity
Abstract

Srinivasan et al. provide an interesting overview of the challenges for long-term socio-hydrological predictions. Although agreeing with most of the statements made, we argue for the need to take socio-hydrological analysis a step further and add some fundamental considerations, especially concerning the crucial importance of many (conscious and unconscious) assumptions made upfront of the modelling exercise. Eventual assumptions of technological determinism need correction: Models are not “value-free”, but uncertain, subjective and a product of the society in which they were shaped. It is important to acknowledge this uncertainty and bias when making decisions based on socio-hydrological models, considering also that these models are “social and political actors” in and by themselves. Furthermore, socio-hydrological models require a transdisciplinary approach, since physical water availability is only one of the boundary conditions for society. Last but not least, interaction with stakeholders remains important to enable understanding of what the variable of interest is.

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