News & Events

Founding father of our Commission awarded prestigious ScD degree by Cambridge University

Prof. emeritus  Dr. JAA Jones, who established the IGU Study Group on Hydrological Extreme Events that ultimately developed into the Commission for Water Sustainability, was recently awarded the prestigious ScD (Doctor of Science)-degree by the renowned University of Cambridge, where he obtained  his PhD in 1976 with a nearly 500-page thesis on “Soil piping and the subsurface initiation of stream channel networks“. 

Prof. Jones conducted much of his early field research in the hydrological research area of the Maesnant catchment in the Cambrian Mountains of mid-Wales, UK, which is now included in the collection of the British Hydrological Society’s website on the History of Hydrology (http://www.history-of-hydrology.net/mediawiki/index.php?title=Maesnant_(Wales)_1970s-1990s). It was in this study area where Tony pioneered the research into soil piping as a newly discovered form of subsurface run-off generation.  

In contrast to a PhD, which is commonly awarded at the start of an academic career following a thesis with original research on a limited field, the lesser known ScD requires, at least in the UK, additionally a significant body of impactful scientific publications that expand the knowledge of the discipline. In 2006, the IAHS listed his pioneering work on natural soil piping among the Benchmark Papers on Streamflow Generation Processes, one of just 29 since the work of R.E. Horton that founded modern scientific hydrology in the 1930s. As well as a substantial number of peer-reviewed articles in international journals covering both hydrological processes and the impacts of climate change on river regimes and water resources, Tony is the author and editor of several international textbooks on hydrology and other seminal books on water-related topics, including the latest one on Water Sustainability, Prof. Jones certainly meets these criteria like few others in the field. 

On behalf of the Commission I congratulate Prof. Jones on this achievement and look forward to his continued future contributions to our Commission and to geographical water research at large and wish him well.

Frank Winde, Chair Commission of Water Sustainability


International glossary of hydrology (En-Ru-Fr-Sp)
Dictionary of hydrological engineering (En-Ru-Ro-Fr-Arabic-Polish-Armenian)




Individual Profiles

A – C








D – F






G – J










JonesMediawiki Study Area: Maesnant (Wales) – Tony Jones

K – N










O – S







T – Z











Young scientists support

The Commission wishes to attract students and young scientists interested in water sustainability and related topics. To this end members are encouraged to introduce their students and young colleagues to the activities of the Commission and use the regular meetings of the Commission to provide young scientists with a knowledgeable audience that cares for and supports first time presenters on international level.

The Commission will also assist young scholars in grant application and provide additional local support e.g. by identifying affordable accommodation, reduction in conference fees and logistical support wherever possible.


Journal Publications

Selected journals on the various aspects of water research were identified, belonging mainly to the upper 25% of ranked journal in the various fields.        Read more…

The 10 most recent papers of members were published in the following journals (in no particular order, list not exhaustive):

Hydrological Processes  |  Natural Hazards  |  Water Resources  |  Climate  |  Revista Asociación Argentina de Geología aplicada a la Ingeniería  |  PNAS  |  Journal of Flood Engineering  |  Revista Ciencia e Natura  |  Climate Change  |  Agricultural and Forest Meteorology  |  Environmental Science and Technology  |  Land Degradation and Development  |  National Science Review |  Agricultural Water Management  |  Hrvatski geografski glasnik  |  Geoadria |  Transactions on Ecology and the Environment  |  Water Resources Research |  Science (proffs. Liu, Chang and Yang: congratulations!) |  Nature (Prof. Liu: congratulations!) |  Acta Geographica Croatica  |  Investigaciones Geograficas (Mexico) Cuademos des Investigacion Geografica (Spain)  |  Ecosystem, Health and Sustainability  |  Science of the Total Environment  |  Hydrological Earth Systems Science  |  Geographical Analysis  |  ISTINA |  IAHS publications  |  Water Resources  |  Journal for African Earth Sciences |  Environmental Earth Sciences  |  South African Journal of Science  |  Water SA |  Cancer Epidemiology  |  Journal of Hydrology|  Hydrology and Water Resources |  Earth Perspectives  |  Climate Change Management  |  Journal of Hazardous Materials |  Environmental Science Pollution Research  |  Management Journal  |  Chemosphere |  Climato  |  Limnology  |  JEPE-Journal |  Geomorphology  |  IEEE  |  Arid Ecosystems |  Russian Meteorology and Hydrology  |  Geography Environment Sustainability |  Journal of Resources and Ecology  |  Ice and Snow

Journals pic

A ranking of Journals can be found at: http://www.scimagojr.com/journalrank.php

Predatory journals –
A list of predatory journals (including those in the water field) that should be avoided as their main objectives are monetary (e.g. charging author fees) and commonly result in sub-standard publications, is available at: http://beallslist.weebly.com/.

Glossary HydrologyInternational glossary of hydrology (En-Ru-Fr-Sp)
Lexique HydrologiqueDictionary of hydrological engineering (En-Ru-Ro-Fr-Arabic-Polish-Armenian)



J.A.A. Jones, 2011: Water sustainability – A global perspective.
Contact: Prof. J.A.A. Jones
Click here to see more

J.A.A. Jones and Olga Scarpati (Guest Eds), 2007: GeoJournal Special Issue: Water resources issue in South America.
Vol. 70 n. 4, ISSN 0343-2521, pp. 227-300.
Contact: Prof. Olga Scarpati
Click here to see more

Olga Scarpati and J.A.A. Jones (eds), 2007: Environmental change and rational water use.
ISBN 978-987-9260-46-3. 458 pp.
Contact: Prof. Olga Scarpati

P.J. Robinson, J.A.A. Jones and M-K Woo (eds), 2007: Managing water resources in a changing physical and social environment.
IGU Home of Geography Publication Series, Società Geografica Italiana, Rome, 177pp. ISBN 978-88-88692-35-7.
Contact: Prof. J.A.A. Jones
Click here to see more

J.A.A. Jones & Dr. Trahel Gerasim Vardanian (2004): The rational use and conservation of water resources in a changing environment, Yerevan State University, Republic of Armenia.
Contact: Prof. Trahel Gerasim Vardanian

J.A.A. Jones & I.J. van der Walt (Guest editors) (2002): Barriers and solutions to water sustainability in Africa. Special Issue of  GeoJournal.
Contact: Prof. J.A.A. Jones
Click here to see more

José M. García Ruiz, J.A.A. Jones and José Arnaez (Eds.), 2002: Environmental change and water sustainability, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Instituto Pirenaico de Ecologia, Spain, 340 pp, hardback.
Contact: J.M. García Ruiz

J.A.A. Jones, Changming Liu, Ming-ko Woo and Hsiang-te Kung (Eds.), 1996: Regional Hydrological Response to Climate Change, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 425 pp., hardback, ISBN 0-7923-4329-8.
Contact: Prof. J.A.A. Jones
Click here to see more

J.A.A. Jones & Ming-ko Woo (Eds.), 2003: Coping with hydrological extremes – Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Special issue, Kluwer, 7 (3/2002), 201-320.
Contact: Prof. J.A.A. Jones
Click here to see more

J.A.A. Jones & Ming-ko Woo (Eds.), 2002: Modelling the impact of climate change on hydrological regimes, Hydrological processes, Special issue, Wiley, 16(6), 1135-1317, ISSN 0885-6087.
Contact: Prof. J.A.A. Jones
Click here to see more


2018 Commission Meeting – Quebec, Canada (6-10 August)

read more

2017 Commission Meeting – Lake Baikal, Russia (16-20 August)

 read more

2016 Meeting at the 33rd IGC – Beijing, China (21-25 August)

2015 Meeting at the IGU Regional Conference – Moscow, Russia (17-21 August)

read more

2014 Commission Meeting – Dubrovnik, Croatia (24-28 August)

read more

2013 Commission Meeting – Lanzhou, China (14-18 August)

read more

2013 Meeting at the IGU Regional Conference – Kyoto, Japan (4-9 August)

read more

2012 Meeting at the 32nd IGC – Cologne, Germany (August)

read more

2011 Meeting at the IGU Regional Conference – Santiago, Chile (August)

read more

2009 Commission Meeting – Turin, Italy (August)

read more

6th Meeting of the IGU Commission for Water Sustainability

read more

5th Meeting of the IGU Commission for Water Sustainability

read more

4th Meeting of the IGU Commission for Water Sustainability

read more

3rd Meeting of the IGU Commission for Water Sustainability

read more

2nd Meeting of the IGU Commission for Water Sustainability

read more

2001 Commission Meeting – Zaragoza, Spain (August)

read more




International Geographical Union  |   Home of Geography  |  IGU Journals Project  |  IGU Announcements & Opportunities  |  C16.03 Climatology  |  C16.19 Hazard and Risk  |  C16.23 Karst  | C16.30 Mediterranean Basin  |  C16.20 Health and Environment  |  2018 MOSCOW Thematic Conference  |  2018 Quebec IGU – Regional Conference


International Water Association  |  International Water Management Institute (IWMI)  |  SIWI – Stockholm International Water Institute  |  International Water Centre  |  World Meteorological Organization  | World Water Day 22 March – the United Nations  | International Water Resources Association  | The International Water Institute: IWI  |  Water Footprint calculator  |  World Water Week – water ideas  |  Think H2O  |  Every last drop  |  Hydrology (IHP) – Unesco  |  UNESCO IHP | IGRAC  |  International Hydropower Association  |  International Commission on Large Dams  |  IMWA – International Mine Water Association


Global Runoff Data Centre |  Global Runoff Database |  River Discharge Data  |  Major River Basins of the World (GRDC, 2007) |  Watershed Boundaries of GRDC Stations (GRDC, 2011) |  WMO Regions and Subregions (GRDC, 2004)  |  Southern Africa Flow Database of SA FRIEND


The International Association of Hydrogeologists – IAH / AIH |  IGRAC: International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre


Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) |  SIDA Research Calls & Grants  |  International Council for Science


About us


The Commission for Water SUSTAINABILITY of the International Geographical Union (IGU) was founded in 1998 by Dr. Tony Jones (Aberystwyth) as “Study Group on Hydrological Extreme Events”. It was upgraded to Commission status in 2002 and renamed to “Commission for Water Sustainability”. Following the retirement of several founding members and the ending of the term of the previous chair, Prof. C. Cassardo, in 2015 the composition of the Steering Committee (SC) recently changed.

With strong encouragement from IGU executives and the renewed confirmation as a Commission in good standing by IGU Exco in 2017 a new Chair and Steering Committee were elected. Since then efforts have been made to consolidate and update the list of active members by sending out templates on research profiles to over 350 contacts listed on the Commission’s data base. All approached people who returned the filled-in templates in due time are now officially recognised as active members of the Commission (for details on statistics and profiles see respective sections on this website).


The Commission strives to provide a recognised platform for international scientific exchange of physical and human Geographers as well as scientists from other disciplinary backgrounds sharing insights, knowledge and data on water- sustainability in its broadest sense. This includes natural and human impacts on the availability and quality of water and their implications for sustainable water use at local, regional and global scale. The Commission specifically encourages the dialogue between physical and human water sciences including economic, cultural, legal and medical aspects to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of natural and man-made factors governing water sustainability. A particular focus is on water–stressed areas worldwide encouraging and fostering mutually beneficial collaboration between scientists from developing and developed nations.


The Commission aims to interpret “sustainability” in the widest possible sense, including the sustainability of the environment in the face of water development work as well as the sustainability of water resources. It aims to foster links between the human and physical aspects of water management, with specific concern for the sustainability of water resources and for the impacts of water management on the environment.

The Commission holds regular international conferences (e.g. Lisbon 1998, Aberystwyth 1999, Seoul 2000, Zaragoza 2001, Durban 2002, Kyoto and Yerevan 2003, Glasgow 2004, Buenos Aires 2005, Brisbane 2006, Asheville 2007, Tunis 2008, Torino 2009, Santiago 2011, Cologne 2012, Kyoto 2013, Lanzhou, 2013). We circulate a regular newsletter to registered corresponding members and maintain a website, which includes information on conferences and abstracts of papers.

Selected full papers are also published as Special Issues of leading international journals (e.g. Hydrological Processes 2002, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 2003, GeoJournal 2004, Area 2006, Physical Geography 2006, Water 2010) and as books (e.g. Environmental Change and Water Sustainability 2002, The rational use and conservation of water resources in a changing environment 2005).

The Commission also aims to support collaborative and multidisciplinary research amongst its members. This includes joint work on global water sustainability under the leadership of Prof. Jones that resulted in the publication of an international textbook examining physical and human aspects affecting availability and usability of the world’s water resources [Jones JAA (ed.) (2010): Water Sustainability – A Global Perspective, Hodder Education, London, pp. 452, visit: http://www.hodderplus.com/geography)%5D.  As part of the Commission’s involvement in the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE), a joint initiative of the UNESCO and the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) launched in February 2008, Prof. Jones together with other Commission members addressed the need as well as ways and means to preserve and protect the groundwater component as a critical element in the global water cycle [Jones JAA (ed.) (2011): Sustaining Groundwater Resources – A Critical Element in the Global Water Crisis. Springer, pp. 228].

On bilateral level an ongoing exchange programme supports joint research projects on water and climate-related issues in water-stressed regions of South Africa between the University of Turin (Italy) and North-West University (Vaal Campus, South Africa) under the leadership of Proffs. C. Cassardo and F. Winde. It is envisaged to further expand number and extent of our bi- and multilateral research projects in selected countries by drawing on the wide spectrum of expertise and nationalities represented in the Commission.

Current focal points of the Commission’s research include but are not limited to the following topics:

•    Climatic and meteorological impacts on water resources
•    Water in urban environments
•    Groundwater management
•    Water availability in arid and semi-arid regions
•    Impacts of mining on surface and groundwater
•    Hydrological processes and extreme events
•    Integrated catchment and water resource management
•    Water pollution and health
•    Hydro – GIS (Geographical Information Systems).


News Archive

December 2019

Retirement of Prof. Scarpati

December 2016

In Memoriam – Long-term and enthusiastic member of the commission

June 2014

Evaluation of phase VII (2008-2013) of the IHP

August 2014

12th Commission meeting in Dubrovnik, Croatia

August 2013

11th Commission meeting in Lanzhou, China

August 2013


December 2011

Announcement of next Commission meeting in Cologne, Germany

September 2011

New book published – author Tony Jones

April 2011

Change of Chair

March 2011

Announcement of next Commission meeting in Santiago, Chile

June 2010

Retirement of Prof. Woo

November 2009

Retirement of Prof. Robinson

September 2009

Announcement of no Commission meeting in Israel in 2010

March 2009

Announcement of next Commission meeting in Torino, Italy

May 2008

Former Commission Vice-chair receives major award

January 2008

IGU Commission on Hazard and Risk

December 2007

Publication of the GeoJournal Special Issue

November 2007

Change of Vice-chair

August 2007

Announcement of next Commission meeting in North Carolina, USA

June 2007

Preliminary announcement of the NATO meeting in Armenia

November 2006

Announcement of a session in the the International Symposium on Drylands Ecology and Human Security in Dubai

November 2006

Condolences for prof. Adalberto Vallega, President of the International Geographical Union

October 2006

Obituary of Dr. Gilbert F. White

July 2004

Foresight-Analysis of ICSU

April 2004

“The mediterranean renaissance”, IGU programme for the Mediterranean Human Development, by Adalberto Vallega, IGU President

June 2003

International Year of Freshwater 2003

January 2002

Rio plus 10 – Some observations from the IGU Study Group on Water Sustainability

December 2001

Proposal for the creation of an IGU Commission for Water Sustainability

September 2001

September 11 Geographic Community Fatalities

March 2001

Speech of Mr Kofi Annan, General-Secretary of the United Nations, during the 97th Meeting of the Association of American Geographers