ICT 2003 Newsletter


Contributions from the International Commission on Tracers

The International Commission on Tracers (ICT) is promots the science and the use of tracers in hydrology. It is goal is to help promote the application and use of artificial and natural tracers in hydrology, to help development new tracer methods and to spearhead new uses of tracers for model calibration and validation. ICT's recent developments are many. ICT is organizing a workshop at IAHS Sapporo on Isotopes in Water Cycle Models. This is convened jointly between ICT and the IAEA Isotope Hydrology division. ICT has strived to strengthen its relation with IAEA and other organizations in the past year. ICT was represented at the recent IAEA 40th Anniversary Meeting in May 2003 in Vienna and ICT has led recent shortcourses for the UN through the new UNESCO-IAEA program Joint International Isotope Hydrology Program (see http://www.cof.orst.edu/cof/fe/watershd/shortcourses/Isotope/index.htm).

The IAEA/UNESCO Joint International Isotopes in Hydrology Program (JIIHP) is an exciting new initiative that ICT will contribute to. JIIHP will facilitate the integration of isotopes in hydrological practices through:

  • development of tools for better understanding of specific hydrological processes and improving assessment, development and management of water resources;
  • support of national, regional and international program in water resources;
  • incorporation of isotope hydrology as part of hydrological curricula in universities worldwide; and
  • integration of isotopic data in hydrological databases at national, regional and global scales.

One of ICT's strongest efforts has been in helping to define the new IAHS cross-cutting initiative PUB (Prediction in Ungauged Basins). ICT has a pivotal role within PUB for helping to define using isotope and chemical tracers, the age, origin and pathway of streamflow in ungauged and poorly gauged areas of the world. The science programs within PUB will have four objectives:

  • Advance the ability of hydrologists worldwide to predict the fluxes of water and associated constituents within and from ungauged basins, along with estimates of the uncertainty of predictions;
  • Advance the knowledge and understanding of climatic and landscape controls on hydrological processes to quantify and reduce the uncertainty in hydrologic predictions;
  • Demonstrate the essential role of data for the hydrologic predictions, and provide a rational basis for future data requirements, by investigating links between data and predictive uncertainty;
  • Advance the scientific foundations of the science of hydrology, thereby providing a scientific basis for sustainable river basin management.

PUB will establish a new scientific framework for evaluating the performance of existing hydrological models and prediction techniques that are, or could be, used in ungauged basins. ICT and tracer approaches in general, will be a key part of this approach.

For more information, please contact:

Prof. Jeffrey J. McDonnell,
President, International Commission on Tracers
E-mail: Jeff.McDonnell@orst.edu
Web: http://www.cof.orst.edu/cof/fe/watershd


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