GDRI Sense SouthInitiate a sociohydrological approach to produce “alternative” knowledge on the waters of the Senegal River




The world of water management is dominated by the search for efficiency and precision in the assessment and allocation of the "resource" within "hydrosystems". Hydrological knowledge occupies a preponderant place. However, this type of approach fails to take into account the logics of action involved and the different forms of knowledge that underlie them. Problems of access to water and conflicts then seem insoluble. Researchers brought together by the SocioHydr’OSé program hypothesize that a change in the hydrological knowledge production methods is necessary to take into account the complexity of water / society relations



SocioHydr’OSé proposes to explore an interdisciplinary production of knowledge on water by associating the human sciences with hydrological sciences and by putting the field at the heart of the research process. We will focus our eyes on the Senegal River, a central resource for Senegal and Mauritania which it crosses, and which, for this reason, has been the subject of intense knowledge for several centuries. Knowledge around the Senegal River will be compared to knowledge about water uses in the groundnut basin. Three fields of the project's hydrologists are included in the SocioHydr’OSé “meta-field”. This will make it possible to reflect collectively in three complementary directions: 1) how does "scientific" knowledge relate to the methods of water management around the river? 2) What other knowledge about water (local knowledge, operational knowledge, human science knowledge) is present? 3) How to combine “scientific” knowledge and “other knowledge” to renew the conception of the relationships that are formed between societies and waters?

Eco&Sols Involvement

Provision of knowledge on the uses of water in the groundnut basin on the Faidherbia-Flux experimental site.



2019 - 2021


  • IRD-CIRAD, G-Eau, Montpellier (France, Sénégal, Mauritanie) PI
  • IRD, Eco&Sols Montpellier (France, Sénégal) co-PI
  • UGB, Saint-Louis (Sénégal)
  • ESP Nouakchott (Mauritanie)
  • IHE-Delft (Pays-Bas)


MSH Montpellier

Contact and Informations

Didier Orange, UMR Eco&Sols, IRD Dakar

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