The nexus among water, food and energy is today a topical issue for the management of water resources and the future of developing countries. In fact, it is widely acknowledged by researchers and governmental agencies that one of the major challenges for society in the near future will be freshwater availability, which involves an accurate investigation of the links and feedbacks between hydrology and society, therefore focusing on water resources management and related ethical issues, water quality, equitable utilization and water security. The latter is defined as the capacity of a population to safeguard access to adequate quantities of water of acceptable quality for sustaining human and ecosystem health on a watershed basis, and to ensure efficient protection of life and property against water-related hazards – (floods, landslides, land subsidence,) and droughts. In many parts of the world, poor distribution of freshwater in relation to demand is already the cause of water scarcity, which may be exacerbated by climate change and environmental changes in general. The general and rapid increase of the socio-economic level in many countries is beneficial for the health of people on the one hand, but on the other hand, the effect of human impacts on the water cycle is deepening and widening rapidly across the planet. It is clear that water is becoming a major limiting factor to sustainable development of society and, consequently, society is conditioning hydrology in many countries at a tremendous rate.
To enhance the connection between hydrology and society, we need to set up improved scientific interpretations of water cycle dynamics in time and space, as well a tight cooperation with economists and social scientists.
This conference will bring together scientists involved with water resources management in an interdisciplinary context, to focus on advanced ideas and methods for improving our understanding of the connections and feedbacks between water and society.