Wicked Debate: A Tale of two Disciplines

  • 20 Jul 2017
  • 17:00 - 19:15
  • IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Westvest 7, 2611 AX Delft, Auditorium A1b
Western Europe
Delft, The Netherlands

A tale of two disciplines: A conversation between sociohydrology and hydrosocial research to understand the dynamics of water and humans.

The relationship between humans and water is one of complexity and interdependency. Not only water scarcity and floods can cause social instability, but also power relations, institutional and technological changes can cause water scarcity and floods.

A dialogue on two different schools of thought, sociohydrology and hydrosocial research, seems crucial to better understand the dynamics of water and humans and to better tackle major challenges for a sustainable, egalitarian and water secured world. The use of different methodologies, approaches and epistemologies, far from being obstacles, they can be complementary, and researchers can learn and advance their science with the interaction of these two disciplines. IHE Delft invite you to the seminar on “Transdisciplinarity in water research”, which is being organized as part of the 60th Anniversary celebrations of IHE Delft.

Two of the biggest exponents of each discipline will converse in IHE Delft on the advancements and challenges of sociohydrology and hydrosocial research and the possibilities of transdisciplinary research.


17.00: Word of Welcome by Mohanasundar Radhakrishnan, PhD Fellow

17.05: Sociology - Hydrology, An  introduction by Anna Wesselink, Post Doc researche

17.10: Advancements and challenges in hydrosocial research - Dr. Jessica Budds

17.30: Advancements and challenges in sociohydrological research – Prof. Dr. Murugesu Sivapalan

17.50: Debate: Can these two disciplines complement each other in order to advance the understanding of the complex dynamics of water and humans?

18.10: Public discussions and questions

18.30: Closing remarks and thanks by Jonatan Godinez Madrigal, PhD Fellow

18.35 – 19.15: Drinks and socialising at Grand Cafe Verderop

About the Debaters

Dr. Jessica Budds

Dr. Budds is a human geographer with an interdisciplinary background in environment and development and a regional specialism in Latin America.  The overall aim of her work is to engage political ecology to understand the nature and dynamics of socio-ecological change in the global South and its relationship with poverty and social exclusion.  Much of my work focuses on water politics, management and governance.

She holds a MA (Hons) in Hispanic Studies from the University of Glasgow, a MSc in Environmental Issues in Latin America from the University of London, and a DPhil in Geography from the University of Oxford.  She joined University of East Anglia in 2013 with 18 years’ experience of academic and policy research, five of which have been spent in South America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru).  She is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, and publish my work in these languages where possible in order to reach Latin American audiences.  She also has field experience in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa and Zambia.

Prof. Dr. Murugesu Sivapalan

Dr. Sivapalan is a hydraulic engineer and an environmental hydrologist. His recent work has focused on modelling the co-evolutionary dynamics of coupled human, water and ecological systems. Between 1978 and 1981, Dr. Sivapalan worked as a consulting civil engineer in Nigeria. During the period 1986-1988 he served as a Research Associate at Princeton University. He spent the next 17 years at the University of Western Australia, Perth, joining as a Lecturer in 1988 before being promoted to full Professor in 1999. Dr Sivapalan has also served as Visiting Professor at the Vienna University of Technology, Austria, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, Tsinghua University, China and the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. He joined the University of Illinois in 2005.

Dr Sivapalan was founding chair of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences' (IAHS) Decade on Predictions in Ungauged Basins (PUB) initiative. He has been a member of the editorial boards of several international journals and was Executive Editor of the European Geosciences Union’s Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS) journal for 10 years.


If you would like to attend, please contact Mohanasundar Radhakrishnan.