Bonn water lecture on Socio-hydrological interactions in the Himalayan region by Prof. Marcus Nüsser

January 30, 2017 | 17:30 h - 18:30 h

We kindly invite you to our next Bonn Water Lecture with Prof. Dr. Marcus Nüsser (University of Heidelberg) who will talk about


         “Socio-hydrological interactions in the Himalayan region”

Date:              Monday, January 30, 2017, 5.30 - 6.30 p.m.

Venue:           ZEF, Walter-Flex-Straße 3, 53113 Bonn


About this lecture:

The analytical concept of Socio-Hydrology contributes to a better understanding of the interactions and dynamics between the availability, quality and use of water. Regular availability of glacier and snow meltwater is essential for irrigated crop cultivation, freshwater supply and livelihood security in the arid and semi-arid parts of the Himalayan region. In order to cope with changing glacio-hydrological conditions and recurrent water scarcity, diverse adaptation strategies have been developed in different parts of the mountain belt. In this context, the so-called artificial glaciers, situated in central Ladakh, have received some attention in local and international media and scientific publications. Located at altitudes below the snow line and above agricultural settlements, these man-made structures facilitate the freezing of stream water at particular sites during the winter. The resulting seasonal ice bodies increase meltwater availability especially during critical periods. Such site-specific glacio-hydrological interventions have been framed as locally appropriate adaptive strategies that respond to the adverse effects of global warming. These particular agricultural practices will be compared with other case studies from the upper Indus Basin (Nanga Parbat). General patterns and site-specific particularities of these irrigation systems are conceptualized as socio-hydrological interactions, shaped by an interplay of glacio-fluvial runoff, water distribution, historical settings, socio-economic actor constellations, institutional arrangements, and external development interventions.


Prof. Dr. Marcus Nüsser is Chair of the Department of Geography, South Asia Institute at the University of Heidelberg. He focuses on issues of human-environment interaction, landscape transformation and regional development processes in the high mountains of South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. His work stresses the importance of integrating environmental aspects and ecosystem dynamics into development processes, and building upon knowledge, adaptations, and managerial capabilities of local populations. He has also worked on vegetation patterns and floristic inventories. He serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the journal Mountain Research and Development (since 2003) and Erdkunde (since 2015), the Editorial Board of the Journal of Mountain Science (since 2005) and has been appointed as Series Editor of the Book Series Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research published by Springer Academic Publishers (since 2009).