Hydrology with impact: how does hydrological science inform decision-makers?

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Water plays a central part in many aspects of life, and good hydrological science is needed to inform many decisions that affect human health and livelihoods. Hydrological scientists are aware of the importance of their work, and make great efforts to develop relevant research and advice. Decision-makers want to use the best science in their decisions, but rarely read academic papers or attend conferences. This gap is often filled either by organisations that aim to bridge the science to policy gap (boundary organisations) or hydrological consultants. Academic hydrologists can aid the efficient transfer of knowledge to practitioners in these organisations by writing review papers, participating in professional conferences and engaging practitioners in their work. Researchers should also try to anticipate future evidence requirements and prepare research that will meet these. Faced with hydrological problems, decision-makers should continue to seek the right professional advice, and hydrological scientists should respect the expertise of decision-makers in making decisions.

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