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Hydrology for the Environment, Life and Policy http://www.unesco.org/water/ihp/help To deliver social, economic and environmental benefit to stakeholders through sustainable and appropriate use of water by directing hydrological science towards improved integrated catchment management basins

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hydrology for the environment life and policy

Hydrology for the Environment,Life andPolicy


To deliver social, economic and environmental benefit to stakeholders through sustainable and appropriate use of water by directing hydrological science towards improved integrated catchment management basins

Real people

Real catchments

Real answers

paradigm lock
“Paradigm Lock”

Biophysical Scientists

and Process hydrology

the help approach
The HELP Approach

HELP aims to consolidate experimental hydrology to improve existing models

Develop strategic and innovative science which build on managers and policy-makers concerns





HELP Basin Criteria

There are 5 categories of criteria:

- Suitability of the proposing organisation and the basin for inclusion

in the programme

- Relevance of the stated purpose to the HELP programme

- Adequacy and feasibility of the proposed activities

- Confirmation of commitment to provide resources and cooperation

- Contribution to promoting HELP values

The detailed criteria are available at












who are we
Teams of scientists (natural, social, economic, political) stakeholders, managers, policy and decision makers.

Focusing on “needs driven” water related issues and research.

International platform for basin experiences (comparing/sharing).

Contribution towards IWRM.

Who are we?
who benefits from help
The scientific environment.

The stakeholder community.

Facilitates inter-institutional collaboration at national and international level.

Contribution to international programmes.

Who benefits from HELP?
what makes help unique
Only international programme that is a catchment based activity which is interfacing scientific research with stakeholders needs.

Includes scientists, stakeholders, policy-makers, lawyers.

Provides options as against imposing solutions.

Providing/testing/implementing and improving solutions.

Sharing experiences across a global network of basins.

HELP is a field orientated scientific programme taking a “bottom-up” approach.

It goes beyond... IWRM

... A scientific programme per se

… An environmental programme per se

… Just policy on paper

Dialogue with stakeholders needs driven.

What makes HELP unique?
what has been achieved so far
A Pilot phase of 25 basins (2001-2004)

A global network of 67 basins (July 2004 onwards)

Conferences and workshops:

1st HELP Int. Symposium Kalmar (Sweden) 2002

Dundee (Scotland, UK), Int. Conf. on Water Policy and Law interfaces with science, 2001 and 2004

Expert planning group for Integrated Science 2002-2003

1st Expert workshop on transport and fate of diffuse organic contaminants in catchments with special emphasis on stable isotope applications, December 2004 in GSF Munich, Germany

HELP Session at the 3rd WWF, “Towards Integrated Catchment Management: Increasing the Dialogue between Scientists, Policy-makers and Stakeholders”, Shiga, Japan, March 2003

What has been achieved so far?
Forest & Water (in collaboration with FAO-FORC/EOMF and CGIAR-CIFOR)

-- Impact of reforestation-afforestation of degraded lands in the Western Ghats, India.

-- Tropical Forest Hydrology Symposium, Kuala Lumpur, July 2000

-- Shiga declaration on Forest and Water, November 2002)



    • Brochure
    • Website
what has been achieved so far12

HELP design and implementation strategy, 2001

UNESCO IHP Series Technical Documents in Hydrology (38): 46 p. Yamaguchi, A. and Wesselink, A., 2000. An overview of selected policy documents on water resources management that contributed to the design of HELP (Hydrology for the Environment, Life and Policy).

Article in AWRA journal, 2003

Special Issue of the International Journal of Water Resources Development (Vol.20, no.3) September 2004

CUP Book late 2004

Planned book on Water Law and Policy: “The role of hydrological information in water law and policy: current practice and future potential.” published by IWA

What has been achieved so far?
Implementation Structure

Strategic level: Global Coordinating Unit – GCU, longer term vision.

Tactical level: establishment of Regional Coordinating Units – RCUs, over next few years for day-to-day regional coordination of HELP catchment activities.

Implementation level: undertaken at the basin scale.

key functions of the global secretariat
Global Secretariat for strategic coordination to support establishment of Regional Coordination Units (RCU).

Assessment and review of the global implementation of HELP progress.

Workshops, networking, dissemination.

Sponsorship / fundraising.

Key functions of the Global Secretariat
global secretariat
Strategic planning & implementation.

Assessment & review.

Promotion and communication of HELP.

Developing genuine collaborative linkages with other programmes and search for extrabudgetary funds and support of HELP.

Identify HELP basinsscience needs.

Global Secretariat

Key functions continued

where are we heading
HELP and Science: e.g.

Strong focus on lateral fluxes, (quantity and quality) viz

Ecohydrological processes

Water quality processes

Extreme events (high/low flows)

Surface water- groundwater interactions

Where are we heading?

Note: The systematic areas of surface water, groundwater and ecohydrological components of the IHP will contribute to HELP in the field.

where are we heading17

How does one implement HELP across the spectrum of socio-economic and socio-cultural contexts ?

How does one dialogue with stakeholders ?

How does one undertake the necessary scientific research where basin scientific infrastructure is lacking ?

How does one address scientific gaps within the Water and Food policy issue ?

How does one interface the water law and policy and science ?

Where are we heading?

Int. Sc Integrated monitoring and modeling. Italy

Int. Sc. Extreme Hydrological Events. Poland

Int. Symp. on HELP in Southern Hemisphere


Global activities


Int. Sc. Testing the Integrated Science Initiative at a Specific Location Northern Ireland UK- Irish Rep.

Int. Sc. Chemical and Hydrobiological role of wetlands. Spain

Symp. L’Eau en Montagne,gestion intégrée des hauts bassins versants. Megève. France

Dundee Water Law Symp.

Int. Sc. Groundwater – Surface Water Interaction and N2 transport Oxford UK

Meeting on Dialogue between scientists and stakeholders.

HELP Session, 4th WWF. Mexico

NATO- CCMS-HELP Vancouver. Canada

Integrated. Science Workshop on Transport and Fate of organic Contaminants GSF Munich

Climate vulnerability index workshop in collaboration with CEH and CPWC, selected N/S.american basins.


NATO- CCMS. Portugal and Morocco

Southern Hemisphere Symp. steering commitee

HELP session in SAHRA Transboundary waters symp. Tucson Arizona. Nov. 18

Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) UK-HELP workshop, Oxford. November 1.


Joint IHP HELP IAHS-PUB planning group. Brazil

Int. Conf. On Int. Assess. Wat. Res. Global Change Joint GWSP GLOWA HELP Bonn


RELU Science symp. January 19-21. UK


Fostering research on HELP action areas

Encouraging participation and involvement of stakeholders in HELP by example

Enabling exchanges / Twinning

Develop strategic plan: verifiable KPIs

Knowing the basins including state of art of HELP

RCUs’ activities