Participatory approach to cross-disciplinary water research: Introducing (HELP) Initiative and Australian perspective

Shahbaz Khan, Zahra Paydar

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


Internationally there is a major lag between research, and real world water policy andmanagement. Most water management policy is based on outdated knowledge andtechnology. Hydrology for Environment, Life and Policy (HELP) is a joint initiative ofthe United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) andthe World Meteorological Organization (WMO). UNESCO HELP initiative is aimed tobridge the gap between water policy, water resources management and scientificcommunities from the setting of research agenda to the free flow of information to beused in the day to day management and policy making processes. HELP is creating anew approach to integrated catchment management through the creation of a frameworkfor water law and policy experts, water resource managers and water scientists to worktogether on water-related problems.The broad objectives of HELP are to strengthen field-oriented experimental hydrologyusing drainage basins with scales ranging from 104 to 106 km2 as the framework. Waterrelated physical (hydrological, climatological, ecological) and non-physical (technical,sociological, economics, administrative, law) observations will be made in thesecatchments which address the most critical policy and management issues as perceivedby 'users' under different biophysical and socio-economic environments, taking intoaccount the needs for sustainable development. The desire for this new programme to betruly 'user-driven' will require the active involvement of research, university teaching,policy-making and facilitating (water and land resource managers groups) to set thepolicy agenda and ensure the scientific results will benefit societal needs through therevision of policy and management practices.In Australia, the multilevel stakeholder engagement in urban and rural water researchand development of management tools and policies in the Murrumbidgee catchment hadhelped it gain the status of reference catchment under the (HELP)programme.The1 - Regional Coordinator, UNESCO IHP-HELP, Professor of Hydrology, Charles Sturt University &CSIRO Land and Water , Locked Bag 588, Wagga Wagga 2678, Australia, Phone: +61-2-6933 2927 Fax:+61-2-6933 2647 Email: - CSIRO Land and Water, GPO Box 1666 Canberra, Australia, Email: Zahra.Paydar@csiro.auInternational Seminar on PIM2competing water uses and environmental and economic concerns in the Murrumbidgeeare typical of other arid catchments in the world. Both completed and ongoinghydrological projects are available that can be used to illustrate how communities,researchers and regulation bodies are involved in catchment management by developingappropriate geographic information system, irrigation management tools, hydrologic'economic and educational models. The approach has been very influential in bringingabout change in land and water management and in informing and guiding regionalpolicy.Keywords: Hydrology, HELP, UNESCO, Participatory Water Management research,Catchment, Irrigation Management in Australia
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Seminar on PIM
Place of Publicationn/a
PublisherINPIM ?
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event4th Asian Regional ICID Conference & 10th International Seminar on participatory Irrigation Management - Tehran, Iran, Iran, Islamic Republic of
Duration: 02 May 200705 May 2007


Conference4th Asian Regional ICID Conference & 10th International Seminar on participatory Irrigation Management
Country/TerritoryIran, Islamic Republic of


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