Prof. Giuliano Di Baldassarre guest lecture at IVM: Water management: from ancient Egypt to today’s Holland



WN-C541/543 at IVM

Prof. Giuliano Di Baldassarre guest lecture at IVM: Water management: from ancient Egypt to today’s Holland

Experts on the topic of transitions

Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM)

Profile theme: Science for Sustainability


Invitation to Prof. Di Baldassarre’s talk: Water management: from ancient Egypt to today’s Holland

His work is of great interest and it is an inspiring example of integration of natural (hydrological) and social sciences.  

Please join us for his guest lecture which will be followed by chat and drinks.

Abstract. From Ancient Egypt to today’s Holland, human societies have relied on access to fresh water resources, which is essential to support livelihoods and provide favorable conditions for socio-economic growth. Over centuries, humans have increasingly altered the hydrological regime by: i) building dams and reservoirs to secure water supply, ii) diverting water flows to supply cities, industries and agriculture; iii) raising dikes and levees to reduce the frequency of flooding, and iv) changing river basin characteristics through deforestation, urbanization and drainage of wetlands. While societies have shaped hydrological regimes, hydrological regimes in their turn have shaped societies. Individuals, communities and institutions continuously adapt to hydrological change through a combination of spontaneous processes, such as migration and formal responses, including changes in water governance and allocation. While much scientific progress has occurred from Ancient Egypt to today’s California, this mutual shaping of society and hydrology –along with climate change in a globalized and highly interconnected world– can generate water crises while challenging the development of sustainable policies of water management. This seminar addresses these points by describing both scientific advances and remaining puzzles in the study of dynamic human-water systems in a rapidly changing planet.

Bio. Giuliano was born in L’Aquila (Italy) in 1978. After graduating summa cum laude at the University of Bologna (Italy), he took his PhD in Hydrology in 2006. Then, he developed his academic career across Europe by working as a Postdoc at the University of Bristol (United Kingdom) and, later, as a Senior Lecturer at UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in Delft (The Netherlands). He joined the Department of Earth Sciences of Uppsala University moved to Sweden in March 2014 as a Professor of Hydrology. He is also the Director of CNDS, Centre of Natural Hazards and Disaster Science, which brings together social, engineering and earth scientists from three Swedish universities to carry out interdisciplinary research in the field of disaster risk reduction ( Giuliano has been the recipient of international awards and prestigious grants, including the Young Scientists Award by the European Geosciences Union (EGU), the Early Career Award by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council (ERC). Author of more than 100 papers (cited over 5,000 times) on peer-reviewed journals including multi-disciplinary ones such as Nature Sustainability, Science Advances, and Nature Geoscience. He is one of the leaders (and past chair) of Panta Rhei–Everything Flows, the research decade of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS). He also directs an interdisciplinary research team as the PI of the ERC project HydroSocialExtremes: Unravelling the mutual shaping of hydrological extremes and society (