To cite this article: Syakir, M. I. et al. (2018). A review of environmental isotopes: Its prospective applications in disaster-risk management of watershed. J. Phys. Sci., 29(3), 121–147, https://doi.org/10.21315/jps2018.29.3.10
Water is one of the critical resources in the agenda of promoting sustainability. Yet, among all the observed natural and anthropogenic adversities, waterrelated disasters appear as the most recurrent which hinder sustainable socio-economic development goals. Climate change, urban expansion, deforestation and increase in population are thought to be the main factors of water-related disasters. Considering those factors, understanding the hydrologic balance of watersheds and the impact that nature and humanity impose on regional ecosystem becomes one of the important research priorities. This paper reviews the applications of stable isotopes in hydrological studies for catchment management. Advancements in isotope research (origin, flow paths, residence times and water budget), has led to new frontiers in palaeoclimatology and palaeohydrology studies. Future applications hold promise to recognise the patterns of modern and ancient isotopic signatures within ecosystems and provide useful information in understanding potential natural hazards, thus complementing sustainable watershed management.