IAHR World Water Day 2020 Special Event: Hydro-environment Engineering and Adaptation to Climate Change


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Welcome Message_w800.jpgOn behalf of the International Association for Hydro-environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) I would like to extend a very warm welcome to this IAHR Special Event in honour of the United Nations World Water Day. Since 1993 UN has been inspiring the global water community with this event. The theme of this year is “Water and Climate Change”. We are very pleased to contribute our thinking towards adaptation to climate change – which is invariably linked to hydro-environment engineering.

IAHR is a global international organization based in Madrid and Beijing – it is the oldest water organization founded by the heads of hydraulic research institutes in Europe who have helped build the water infrastructure throughout the world. It is a network of international experts on a wide range of subjects ranging from environmental fluid mechanics, hydraulic structures, eco-hydraulics, ice research and engineering, river sedimentation, coastal and maritime engineering, water resources and flood risk management, Artificial Intelligence and Water, to climate change adaptation. There are four regional divisions: Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa. We produce authoritative scientific and engineering knowledge products – e.g. journals, design monographs, and technical magazines that have a great impact on adaptation to climate change. We also work closely on global issues jointly with UN-water.

Globally climate change is a grand challenge that pose threats to water security. Over the past three decades, we have witnessed the impacts of climate change - increased rainfall intensity, extreme floods and droughts, changing weather and crop patterns, and warming of the coastal water which has its implication on ecosystem services. The impact is also accentuated by population growth and rapid urbanization in many coastal cities, especially in Asia (which accounts for 58% of the world’s population) and the developing world. Despite the attention paid to issues such as sea level rise and river restoration, there has been a lack of integrated understanding of climate-change induced impacts on water resources and ecosystem services. And even less action on improving engineering design to cope with climate change. Today we have gathered several IAHR experts to share their views, with a panel discussion and also in-depth lectures. I hope you will enjoy the event and please let us know your comments and suggestions. IAHR will be glad to collaborate with international partners to be the solution for a better water future. Hydro-environment engineering and research (including AI and smart technology) is at the core of sustainability and adaptation to climate change – which is needed to protect health and save lives.

Joseph Lee.jpg

Joseph Lee

Angelos Findikakis.jpg

Angelos Findikakis

Tom Soo.jpg

Tom Soo

Peter Goodwin.jpg

Peter Goodwin

Roberto Ranzi.jpg

Roberto Ranzi

Deg Hyo Bae.jpg

Deg Hyo Bae

Yangwen Jia.jpg

Yangwen Jia

Zoran Kapelan.jpg

Zoran Kapelan


DATE: Saturday, March 21, 2020 (recording to be played morning of Sunday March 22 and Monday March 23 in Beijing and Madrid)
TIME: 21:00 (Beijing Time) | 14:00 (Central European Time) | 9:00 (East Coast Time in USA), 

VENUE: Online livestream

World Water Day, held on 22 March every year, has been conceived by the United Nations as one more way to raise awareness about global water problems and motivate organizations and individuals to work towards their solution.  A core focus of World Water Day is to support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.

This year the theme of World Water Day is water and climate change, also the subject of the 2020 World Water Development Report to be released on that day.  Key messages of this year’s World Water Day campaign are that climate policy makers must put water at the heart of action plans, water can help fight climate change by using sustainable, affordable and scalable water and sanitation solutions, and that all have a role to play by taking special actions in their daily lives to address climate change.

IAHR, as a partner of the UN Water program, has organized a special event to celebrate World Water Day and share with its members and others, ideas on the connection between water and climate change.  Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the IAHR event will be a virtual forum with participants from Europe, Asia and the Americas, and will be livestreamed.

The IAHR World Water Day forum will be held on Saturday, March 21, 2020, 21:00-1:10 (Beijing time), 14:00 – 18:10 (Central European time), (9:00 – 13:10 East Coast time in the USA). A recording of the forum will be played the morning of Sunday March 22 and Monday March 23 in Beijing and Madrid.

Program and Presentation Downloads

Part A - IAHR Discussion Forum

  • Introduction (5 min) - Joseph HW Lee, IAHR President, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology

  • IAHR Engagement with UN Water (10 min) - Angelos Findikakis, Bechtel Corporation and Stanford University, USA

  • International Panel Discussion on “Climate change and adaptive management – challenges and issues

    • Chairman: Angelos Findikakis, Bechtel Corporation and Stanford University, USA

    • Rapporteur: Tom Soo, IAHR Executive Director

    • Participants: 

  • Discussion (15 min)

Part B - IAHR Distinguished Lectures for World Water Day

  • Lecture 1: Water security and ecosystem services (by Peter Goodwin, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, USA)

  • Lecture 2: “Scientific & technical issues on climate change adaptation of Korean water resources” (by Deg-Hyo Bae, Sejong University, Korea)

  • Lecture 3: “Advanced Technologies for Smart Water and Wastewater Management in Future Cities” (by Zoran Kapelan, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands)

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