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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-299
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
19 Jun 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
An alternative approach for socio-hydrology: case study research
Erik Mostert Department Water Management, Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, 2628 CN Delft, the Netherlands
Abstract. This paper argues for an alternative approach for socio‒hydrology: detailed case study research. Currently, the dominant approach in socio‒hydrology is developing coupled human‒water models. With very few exceptions, these models treat society as one actor or as a group of individual actors and do not include management structures and processes. Moreover, there is a shortage of data to calibrate and validate the models. Detailed case studies of individual river basins can be of help in these respects. They can result in a more complete understanding of how society interacts with hydrology and can help to identify new data sources. In addition, they can offer more levers for management and facilitate interdisciplinary cooperation. Two questions should be central: which human activities have had a significant impact on the hydrology of the case study area, and which factors can explain these activities? To give an idea of what a socio‒hydrological case study may look like and what its potential benefits are, this paper presents a short case study of the Dommel Basin in the Netherlands and Belgium and compares this with a typical socio‒hydrological model. The paper concludes that there is room for different approaches in socio‒hydrology. However, given the limited attention they currently get, more attention should be paid to developing detailed case studies.

Citation: Mostert, E.: An alternative approach for socio-hydrology: case study research, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-299, in review, 2017.
Erik Mostert
Erik Mostert
Erik Mostert

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Short summary
This paper argues for an alternative approach for socio‒hydrology: detailed case study research. Detailed case study research can increase understanding of how society interacts with hydrology and can help to identify new data sources. In addition, it offers more levers for management than modeling and facilitates interdisciplinary cooperation. The argument is illustrated by a case study of the Dommel Basin in the Netherlands and Belgium.
This paper argues for an alternative approach for socio‒hydrology: detailed case study...
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