Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-138
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-138

  17 Mar 2021

17 Mar 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Misinterpretation of hydrological studies in the Lancang-Mekong Basin: drivers, solutions and implications for research dialogue

Wenling Wang1, Richard Grünwald1, and Yan Feng2 Wenling Wang et al.
  • 1Institute of International River and Eco-Security/Asian International Rivers Center, Kunming, 650091, China
  • 2Yunnan Key Lab of International Rivers and Transboundary Eco-security, 650091, Kunming, China

Abstract. Socio-hydrology presents one of the scientific approaches interpreting complex interactions between human and water systems. To date, water becomes extremely politicized by non-scientists and frequently put in a broader political context with non-water issues. The purpose of this text is to (1) analyse drivers of the growing politicization of hydrological science in the Lancang-Mekong Basin, (2) examine solutions for addressing the misinterpretation of hydrological data, and (3) outline the unintended consequences of politicization the hydrological studies. The paper argues that politicization of science (i) gives more power to non-scientists, (ii) undermines the trust in science and other research institutions, (iii) creates inequality among hydrological studies and water scientists, and (iv) provides more incentives for making research tailored to desirable outcomes. The topic is highly actual and beneficial for water experts and other scientists who want to better understand the potential negative implications of hydrological studies and the limits of socio-hydrology.

Wenling Wang et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2021-138', Anonymous Referee #1, 01 May 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Richard Grünwald, 07 Jun 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2021-138', Anonymous Referee #2, 03 May 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Richard Grünwald, 07 Jun 2021

Wenling Wang et al.

Wenling Wang et al.

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Short summary
Presented paper analyses drivers of the growing politicization of hydrological science in the Lancang-Mekong Basin from socio-hydrological perspective and examines solutions for addressing the misinterpretation of hydrological data. The paper argues that the politicization of science (i) gives more power to non-scientists, (ii) undermines the trust in science and other research institutions, and (iii) creates space for biased research serving for the desirable political outcomes.