Collective action on South Asia’s ‘wicked problems’

The problems of water, energy, climate change, and urbanisation, are all intertwined; they are, also, all ‘wicked’. There is little consensus on how to effectively navigate these problems, let alone, how to solve them. Of these, water is key: the threat of climatic changes is primarily manifested in water, its dwindling supply, and the conflicts that may potentially arise. It also encompasses so-called ‘toad's eye’ concerns of the grassroots, often informal economy, as well as the ‘eagle’s eye’ perspectives of national and global managers. In South Asia, regional cooperation in managing water has not been successful for various reasons.

Groundwater flow cooling the Earth’s crust

Groundwater that flows through the outer shell of the Earth as part of the hydrologic cycle influences the distribution of heat and, thereby, the temperature field in the Earth’s crust. Downward groundwater flow in recharge areas lowers crustal temperatures down to great depths, whereas upward flow in discharge areas tends to raise temperatures relative to a purely conductive geothermal regime. Henk Kooi presents numerical simulations of generalized topography-driven groundwater flow.

Groundwater around the world – book of the month August 2015

This book presents a unique and up-to-date summary of what is known about groundwater on our planet, from a global perspective and in terms of area-specific factual information. Unlike most textbooks on groundwater, it does not deal with theoretical principles, but rather with the overall picture that emerges as a result of countless observations, studies and other activities related to groundwater in all parts of the world. The focus is on showing the role and geographical diversity of groundwater – a natural resource of great importance in daily life, but poorly understood by the general public and even by many water sector professionals. Warmly recommended and essential to every hydrological library.

Isotope Methods for Dating Old Groundwater – book of the month July 2015

This guidebook provides theoretical and practical information on using a variety of isotope tracers for dating old groundwater, i.e. water stored in geological formations for periods ranging from about 1000 to one million years. Theoretical underpinnings of the methods and guidelines for their use in different hydrogeological environments are described.

Floods as war weapons – Humans caused a third of floods in past 500 years in SW Netherlands

A new study shows that, from 1500 until 2000, about a third of floods in southwestern Netherlands were deliberately caused by humans during wartimes. Some of these inundations resulted in significant changes to the landscape, being as damaging as floods caused by heavy rainfall or storm surges. The work, by Dutch researcher Adriaan de Kraker, is published in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, a journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Vivir con la escasez de agua

Dr David Zetland’s book «Living with Water Scarcity», a bargain, has been translated into Spanish: «Vivir con la escasez de agua». As with the English edition, one can »comprar la edición de bolsilloobtener el PDF libre«. You can also support him when swimming in the Amsterdam canals to raise funds for research against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which you might know from the ice bucket challenge. Donate more than € 50 and get to meet David in person with a drink (his treat)!

Four new PhD theses online

Four new PhD theses from the Netherlands have been published online: (1) System Robustness Analysis in Support of Flood and Drought Risk Management, by Marjolein Mens; (2) Modelling and monitoring of Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage – Impacts of heterogeneity, thermal interference and bioremediation, by Wijbrand Sommer; (3) Field and Model Investigations of Freshwater Lenses in Coastal Aquifers by Pieter Pauw; and (4) Saline groundwater – surface water interaction in coastal lowlands, by Joost Delsman. We warmly congratulate them with their new title!

Symposium - Hazard, Risk and Sustainability in the Soil Environment

14 October 2015, Wageningen (NL) • The United Nations have declared the year 2015 as the International Year of Soils, under the topic «Healthy Soils for a Healthy Life». According to the UN, »the current rate of soil degradation threatens the capacity to meet the needs of future generations«. Therefore, there is an urgent need to promote sustainable soil and land management practices, in order to ensure a productive and healthy food system and environment. The Symposium «Hazard, Risk and Sustainability in the Soil Environment» will be held in Wageningen on 14 October 2015.

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