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■Proposal for Establishment of Japan Society of Hydrology and Water Resources

Water is not only indispensable for the support of all forms of life, but also is an essential component for the socio-economic activities of the present day human society. Historically, an abundant supply of water was central to the human development, though occasionally they had to struggle with water to protect their lives.

In this context, the tremendous surge of human activities which has taken place in the second half of this century has created a situation where men influence the natural water cycle directly and are in turn challenged by the impact of their own activities.

Hydrology has offered us an invaluable tool to observe the detailed process of the hydrological cycle and to elucidate various phases of it.

To cope with the increased interaction between the human activities and the hydrological cycle, we must expand the scope of hydrology and also endeavor to deepen it, while at the same time develop comprehensive research on planning, management and maintenance of the water resources based on the future needs of our society.

Up to now, research in this domain has been made in a number of mutually independent disciplines.

Due to the remarkable progress in the related sciences and technologies, there arise a great many areas which require interdisciplinary studies on the water resources such as observation of the physical process of the water cycle, utilization of computer as a tool for data acquisition, processing, analysis, modeling, planning and management of water resources, and optimum use of developments in remote sensing and radar scanning technologies etc..

Also the present issues surrounding the water resources are such that they are no longer apt to be resolved within the framework of individual scientific and technological discipline.

The examples are: studies on the balance of water together with dissolved matter and associated energy equilibrium in different spaces and different time scales, the studies related to the changes in water cycle and the movement of dissolved matter caused by the changes in land use, comparative hydrology on the global perspective, assessment of impacts on water resources due to large scale climatic variations, land and soil conservation, control and risk management relating flood, drought and environmental pollution, evaluation of water and floral resources, sociological and economic structures of water resources, legal systems applicable to water, etc..

In order to promote effective development of these diverse researches, we need to have a broad, common organization related to hydrology and water management.

Such an organization is essential for successful development of a new science which is capable of a structural approach to the diverse issues as enumerated already.

From such a point of view, we propose to create a new research organization to be called the Japan Society of Hydrology and Water Resources which is to function as the matrix encompassing the geophysical science, meteorology, geology, geography, civil engineering, agricultural engineering, social science and many other existing disciplines.

We expect that the new society will be capable of promoting effective coordination between the domestic and international academic societies, associations and research organizations in the related areas as well as to play a leading role in ensuring the international exchange and cooperation between the interested scientific organizations.

We intend to make the Society open to all scholars, researchers, technical and engineering personnel working for both public and private enterprises who share a common interest with the aims of the Society, because we consider it as important to identify research issues and challenges in practical water-related activities in order to ensure that the results of research work could directly and promptly benefit the society at large.

Based on thinking as outlined above, the new Society plans to serve for the promotion of research on hydrology and water resources in accordance with four principles listed below:
  • Emphasis on interdisciplinary and comprehensive perspective.
  • Emphasis on creative and guiding research such as development and application of new technologies.
  • Emphasis on exchange between the researchers and engineers working in academic, governmental and private organizations with a view to ensure successful application of the research efforts.
  • Emphasis on international exchange and cooperation.
More specifically, the Society is planning to undertake the following actions:
  • Lectures, symposia and field observation sessions.
  • Publication of the Society Journal to be called (tentatively) "Hydrology and Water Resources Research" (biannual or quarterly).
  • Collection and dissemination of information regarding research activities and meetings related to hydrology and water resources both in Japan and abroad.
  • Organizing and promotion of research activities in the specific areas of interest (the Society will set up several study groups in order to promote the inter-disciplinary researches in the academic, governmental and private
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