Creativity and Water Resources: Theory and Stimulation

by K. Akhoundi, Polytechnic U, Brooklyn, United States,
J. C. Santamarina, Polytechnic U, Brooklyn, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Resources Planning and Management and Urban Water Resources


An attempt was made to assess the evolution of the water resources field. First, the most significant scientific advancements in the field since 2000 BC until early 1900 AD were listed (e.g., Grun, 1979, and Rouse, 1976); then a simple evaluation was selected, enforcing a mapping onto a linear 1-10 scale, where 10 characterized the most important contributions. A cumulative plot of this 'contribution index' vs time, between 1400 AD and 1900 AD, is given. This subjective quantification facilitates the visualization of the fast evolution of water resources during the XVIII and XIX centuries, after a relatively calm period. Today, this field is perceived at a technological plateau once again; this is an 'old science' ready for a new era. Undertaking this step will require a major infusion of energy and creativity. Introspection into one's processes and the analysis of creative individuals show that creative productivity depends primarily on: (1) the depth and breadth of information in the individual's knowledge base, referred to as information, (2) his capacity for unrestricted thinking, referred to as 'freewheeling', and (3) the particular creative attitude, which permeates through the personalities of creative individuals.

Subject Headings: Water resources | Water supply | Knowledge-based systems | Urban and regional development | Mapping | Linear functions | Floods

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