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HYDROSOCIOLOGY is that branch of science which deals with the interaction of the society with various aspects of this ecological asset.(Ghosh & Mallick,2002)

Water & Human Civilisation

Water is a basic resource for the development of human civilisation. Human life or any other form of life would not have been possible without existence of water. If we look at the world map we find that human population is concentrated around a river or lake which serves as source of fresh water. All the old civilisations like Egypt(Nile), Iraq (Euphrates) , India (Ganges , Sindh) have grown around major rivers. Water is one such item which is connected with all aspects of life , environment and needs involvement of complete domain of human knowledge for its sustainance as usable resource. Hydrosociologists seek to understand in both qualitative and quantitative terms the impact of water on overall growth of society.

Water & Society

Water is equally essential for rich and poor , educated and uneducated, and persons from all walks of life. Further water is an essential ingredient for development of Industries, Agriculture and Urban Settlements. Although water is a very basic and important resource ( much more compared to Gold or Diamond) till today no norm has been created for fixing the price of water at source. Rather most of our present day developmental activities have caused severe deterioration of this important & vital resource. Scope of Hydrosociology covers the following : a) Availability & awareness about economic usage. b) Impact of Climate on availability and awareness about climate change. c) Quality of Water and Awareness about quality for use as drinking water, agriculture, industries. d) Hydrogeomorpholoy and Watershed components e) Hydropolitics. f) Religion, social believes and water usage. River Basin Development is one of the most important aspect of water resources and this subject is integratedly connected with Hydrosociology (Proceedings of United Nations Interregional Seminar, 1975. Hydrosociology is an important component of Hydroeconomy and Hydrology ( Wiley,1997)

Water Poverty Index

In order to compare the overall water availability to the satisfaction of the citizens of a country, Lawrence, Meigh and Sullivan have developed an Index termed Water Poverty Index (Paper no KERP 2002/19). The index combines measures of water availability and access with measures of peoples capacity to access water. The various aspects covered by them include Resources, access, capacity, use and Environment.

Intangible Benefits

One important component of assessing the beneficial aspects of water is Intangible benefits and these intangibles can only be evaluated through comprehensive sociological survey coupled with quantitative evaluation.(Ghosh ,2004) The situation is quite complex and should be studied with a holistic approach and persons from all walks of life and persons with different knowledge base and different perceptions have to be associated .

Role Of Industries

Industries consume lot of water and leace a lasting impact on the source of water (River ,Lake) not only by drawing water but also by throwing the effluent(Ref 1&2). Since agriculture is primarily connected with rural set up often economic usage is not practised and this might cause water logging.Global politics is also influenced due to Hydrosociological inputs ( Ref. 3 & 4)

Virtual Water & Water Foot Print

In todays complex society where most of the countries are looking for fast growth and due to pollution the fresh water sources are fast dwindling the concept of virtual water introduced by Allan (Hoekstra &Chapagain,2007) and the concept of Virtual Water trade and Water Footprints of nations(Hoekstra & Hung,2002) assume great importance in the overall Hydrosociological Set Up. Since water as a resource is limited in its availability in nature and since its demand is increasing the cost component of water is increasing. Any industrial product contains water which has a value content. Thus, for evaluating the economics of export import the quantum of virtual water content makes an important item. Matias Nieto Tolosa (2011) has analysed the practical sense of water footprint indicator and classified the same into Social Actors,Public Actors, Urbanism & regional Planning between Private and Public Spheres. Urban hydrosociology takes care of the mutual care between waters and citizenship. The various factors of Hydrosociology are Water Exploited ( as a Resource), Water Dominated )as a potential risk0, and overall resilience related to water and society.


  • 1) Ghosh Asok Kumar & Amal K. Mallick,2002, Impact of Human Activities on HydroSociological Set Up, Vol.26, Nos 1 & 2, PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH JOURNAL, pp 35 -43, ISSN 0970 - 6097

2)Ghosh A.K., 1999, Impact of Industries on Hydrosociological Set up , THOUGHT, 1999, 3, pp 45-50 3) Waterbury John,1979, Hydropolitices of the Nile Valley,New York, Syracuse University Press 4) Biswas Asit K,(Ed),1994, International Waters of the Middle East from Euphrates-Tigris to Nile, Bombay, Oxford University Press, 1994. 5) Lawrence Peter,Jeremy Meigh & Caroline Sullivan, (2002), The Water Poverty Index :An International Comparison., KERP 2002/19, Keele Economics Research Papers. 6)Ghosh,Asok Kumar, 2004, Role of Hydrosociology in Sustainable Water Resources Management, Towards a Better Tomorrow, Part II Environmental Issues, pp 218-225 7)Hoekstra,A.Y & A.K.Chapgain (2007), Water Foot Prints of Nations: Water Use by People as a Function of Their Consumption Pattern, Water Resour Manage (2007), 21:35-48. 8)Hoekstra,A.Y. & Hung,P.Q (2002), Virtual Water Trade : A Quantification Of Virtual Water Flows between Nations in Relation to International Crop Trade, Value of Water Research Report Series No 11, UNESCO -IHE DELFT. 9) River Basin and Interbasin Development , 16th to 26th september,1975 in Budapest, United Nations Interregional Seminar. 10) International Revue der gesamten hydrobioloie,Vol 82, Wiley, 1997. 11)Ghosh,Dr.Asok Kumar, Importance of Hydrosociologic Factors in Water Resources Development,REBECA 2009,Bengal Engineering & Science University,pp 4 - 13. 12).Francisco Caninde Da Silva, Hydrosociology for a Hydrocitizenship, Matias Nieto Tolosa Madrid Spain.Sao Polo Brazil, June 6,2010 13) Matias Nieto Tolosa, Urban Hydrosociology: The Mutual Care between Waters and Citizenship in Brazil. 11th World Wide Workshop for Young Environmental Scientists www YES 2011,Urban Waters Resotce or Risks, PARIS, 6 - 10 June, 2011


  1. Hydrosociology is that branch of science which deals with interaction of society (with Man as pivotal agent) and Water Resources (Which is an integral part of Environment) ( Ghosh Dr. Asok Kumar ,REBECA 2009,Bengal Engineering & Science Unioversity, pp 4 - 13).
  2. The two important aspects of present day society are developmental economics and quality of life . Hydrosociology is an important subject covering these aspects. ( Ghosh & Mallick)


Hydrosociologic Public Domain : Hydrosociology for a Hydrocitiozenship ( Francisco Caninde Da Silva, June 2010)




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