The 2014 Alexander von Humboldt Medal is awarded to Pradeep Mujumdar for his insightful contributions to the study of water resources systems and water resources management in India and in the rest of south Asia.
Pradeep Mujumdar of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, has conducted research on the formulation of new conceptual approaches to quantification and reduction of uncertainty in the assessment of hydrologic impacts of climate change, which are poorly reflected in current global climate models.
As an engineer, Mujumdar focused his career on solving practical and urgent problems related to the management of India’s water resources. He has played a leading role in India’s policy formulation and institutional capacity building, and has acted in a number of advisory committees at state, national and international levels. While India struggled with unprecedented population growth rates, and unparalleled scales of land-use change, unsustainable depletion of water resources and large-scale contamination Mujumdar pioneered new conceptual approaches to deal with these complex water resource systems.
Mujumdar experimented with application and adaptation of novel statistical and non-statistical methods such as fuzzy logic, possibility theory, imprecise probability and Bayesian inference in areas as diverse as floodplain planning, waste load allocation, reservoir control, wave routing, attribution of hydrological change and climate change adaptation, reflected in his prolific scientific career. In addition, Mujumdar made an even more significant contribution to the field by combining the science with its applications.
It is through the combination of novel hydrological thinking and translation into governance that Pradeep Mujumdar can be considered a founding father of modern Indian hydrological science and practice. His innovations, research contributions and attributes make him a worthy recipient of the 2014 Alexander von Humboldt Medal.
Video of the Alexander von Humboldt Medal Lecture given at the EGU General Assembly 2014.