Ecohydrology (EH) - a trans-disciplinary and applied science, is a sub-discipline of hydrology that seeks to understand the ecological processes controlled by the hydrological cycle (Zalewski 2000, 2009, www.erce.unesco.lodz.pl).
Ecohydrology concept was elaborated and defined within the framework of the strategic plans of the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (IHP) during phases V and VI (IHP-V: 1996-2001 – Theme 2: “Ecohydrological processes in the surficial environment” and IHP-VI: 2002-2007 – Theme 3: "Land habitat hydrology") and has been formulated as a key theme of the phase VII (IHP-VII: 2008-2013 - Theme 3 - "Ecohydrology for sustainability").
UNESCO’s IHP Ecohydrology Programme (EHP) is focused on "an integrated understanding of biological and hydrological processes at a catchment scale in order to create a scientific basis for a socially acceptable, cost-effective and systemic approach to the sustainable management of freshwater resources in a variety of ecosystems and climatic zones".
Ecohydrology: a new vision for aquatic ecosystem management
Traditional approaches to water management consider the hydrological factors as responsible for triggering ecological responses. Management of aquatic ecosystems was "one-way", focusing on the role of hydrology on biota. Ecohydrology establishes a new paradigm for aquatic ecosystems management since it considers the dual regulation between hydrology and biota. Thus, applying this concept at the river basin scale it is possible to restore the evolutionary established processes of aquatic ecosystems. This will increase or reinstate the carrying capacity of ecosystems, allowing them to be sustainable and adaptable to increasing impacts, as the ones resulting from global changes.
see also: leaflets
Ecohydrology for Sustainability