Eco-Hydrology Laboratory (EHL)
Published in 19/12/2018
The critical role of freshwater resources for human well-being has been widely recognized since long, especially in regions exposed to dry spells and droughts such as the Mediterranean Basin. The importance of soils and the ecosystem services that they provide to mankind, however, have by and large been ignored by society as a whole till relatively recently, in spite soils play a determining role in the terrestrial water cycle. Nonetheless, it is now broadly accepted that, worldwide, both freshwater and soil resources are heavily threatened by growing pressure from human exploitation - especially due to increasing population, changing socio-economic consumption patterns, and intensification of land use, supported by technological developments as well as scientific advances in agronomy and forestry - and that this is likely to be further aggravated in the future by the foreseeable changes in climate and associated changes in land use. To face these threats, there is an urgent need for in-depth knowledge and understanding of how water and soil resources are being affected by past and present land use, and how they will expectedly be affected by future land use.
To address this need, EHL has as overarching aim to develop and test integrated approaches, combining measurements and modelling, to the assessment of the impacts of human activities on soil and water resources under present-day as well as likely future climate and socio-economic conditions.
The scope of EHL’s research is to advance the eco-hydrological sciences that can and should underpin local, regional and national decision-making processes on sustainable land use and sustainable natural resources management in a global change context.