Global Hydrology and Water Resources: Review, Challenges and Directions

2017 Fall Cyberseminar Series

Marc Bierkens / Utrecht University

Talk Description:

Since the landmark paper of Eagleson (1986), announcing the emergence of global hydrology, the field of global hydrology and water resources has developed tremendously. Hydrological submodels of varying complexity are now part of global climate models, of models calculating global terrestrial carbon sequestration, of earth system models, and even of integrated assessment models. This seminar, which is based on a recent review paper (Bierkens, 2015), reviews the current state of global hydrological and water resources modeling, discusses past and recent developments, and extrapolates these to future challenges and directions. It start with describing the history of global hydrological model development in three established domains: atmospheric modelling, global water resources assessment and dynamic vegetation modelling. Next, a genealogy of global hydrological models is given. Thereafter, recent efforts to connect model components from different domains  are reviewed with special reference to multi-sectoral inter-comparison projects. Also, new domains of application are identified where global hydrology is now starting to become an integral part of the analyses. Finally, inspired by these new domains of application, persistent and emerging challenges are identified (including hyper-resolution modelling) as well as the directions global hydrology and water resources is likely to take in the coming decade and beyond.

Bierkens, M. F. P. (2015), Global hydrology 2015: State, trends, and directions, Water Resources Research 51, 4923–4947.

Eagleson, P. (1986), The emergence of global-scale hydrology, Water Resources Research 22, 6S–14S.

CUAHSI's 2017 Fall Cyberseminar Series: Towards a Global Integrated Hydrology Platform: Perspectives and Advances in Large-scale Modeling

Host: Reed Maxwell, Rowlinson Professor of Hydrology (Colorado School of Mines)

Questions critical to human water use and environmental change increasingly require approaches that incorporate interconnected hydrologic processes and bridge a wide range of spatial scales. These needs have pushed models forward in both process complexity and spatial extent. Hydrology models that include connections between groundwater, surface water, land surface processes, human water use and even the atmosphere are now running at high resolution over continents and across the globe. This seminar series highlights recent research from four groups working to advance large-scale hydrologic modeling. Starting with a global perspective, these seminars will discuss various success stories and challenges as the hydrology community advances an integrated perspective of Earth’s freshwater.