Reply to Discussion of "Perceptual models of uncertainty for socio-hydrological systems : a flood risk change example"(*)

Westerberg, Ida K. and Di Baldassarre, Giuliano and Beven, Keith J. and Coxon, Gemma and Krueger, Tobias (2018) Reply to Discussion of "Perceptual models of uncertainty for socio-hydrological systems : a flood risk change example"(*). Hydrological Sciences Journal, 63 (13-14). pp. 2001-2003. ISSN 0262-6667

[thumbnail of Submitted_response_Ertsen_HSJ]
PDF (Submitted_response_Ertsen_HSJ)
Submitted_response_Ertsen_HSJ.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial.

Download (401kB)


Ertsen discusses the representation of reality and uncertainty in our paper, raising three critical points. In response to the first, we agree that discussion of different interpretations of the concept of uncertainty is important when developing perceptual models - making different uncertainty interpretations explicit was a key motivation behind our method. Secondly, we do not, as Ertsen suggests, deny anyone who is not a "certified" scientist to have relevant knowledge. The elicitation of diverse views by discussing perceptual models is a basis for open discussion and decision making. Thirdly, Ertsen suggests that it is not useful to treat socio-hydrological systems as if they exist. We argue that we act as "pragmatic realists" in most practical applications by treating socio-hydrological systems as an external reality that can be known. But the uncertainty that arises from our knowledge limitations needs to be recognized, as it may impact on practical decision making and associated costs.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Hydrological Sciences Journal
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Hydrological Sciences Journal on 03/12/2018, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? uncertaintysocio-hydrologyperceptual modelflood riskchange analysiswater science and technology ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
22 Jan 2019 13:10
Last Modified:
27 Jan 2024 00:31