Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The year 2021 has been a year of tremendous change. The pandemic has been changing literally everything on earth. Two years into this COVID disaster, we are still seeing sad stories. But we are also witnessing the bravery and solidarity of the whole humanity in fighting the disease and adapting to the new normal.
IAHR - as a global independent member-based organization of engineers and water specialists – has been on the move. We reformed ourselves with a new structure of governance and a review of our publications. We maximized the channels for global knowledge dissemination by organizing effective webinars and engaging prestigious scholars and experts. We offered special attention to women and young people, who are usually more affected by the pandemic than other population groups. We experimented the virtual way of organizing our first online forum to make up for the disrupted world congress cycle. And we also teamed up with our international partners in addressing the historic flooding, climate change, ecological degradation, water security and other challenges the world is currently facing.
In 2021, our Council was restructured to be more inclusive and participatory. After an entire year of successful online events in 2020, we started innovating by launching the IAHR President's Webinar and organizing a very well-received online course on transient flows. We had two virtual "coffee chats" for women engineers, and the 2nd online Congress for Young Professionals. We continued our serial webinars on Global Water Security, and we convened our 1st online forum that attracted more than 200 speakers and an audience of over 7,000 persons to 25 sessions in 7 days.
In a nutshell, we are not letting the pandemic hold us back. On the contrary we have been convening quality events and improving knowledge products to serve our members, to inspire thinking, to set agendas, and to speak out on behalf of the hydro-environment community. We are taking actions, and we are doing very well.
In 2021, we added 693 individual and 3 institute members, and established 6 new Young Professionals Networks in Europe, Asia and Latin America; we organized 29 online/hybrid events; our website attracted 720,000 page views, up 57% from previous year. We currently have 783 video clips in our Video Library and more than 10,000 papers in our Document Library.
And we are not doing things alone. We contributed to the World Water Development Report; we participated in the United Nations Climate Change Conference and the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly. We co-operated with the World Water Council, International Water Resources Association, International Network of Basin Organizations, and Asian Water Council in organizing a water security webinar to talk about actions for SDG agendas in the post-Covid-19 era. We believe that only by joining hands can we overcome the difficulties and build a water-secure, sustainable, and resilient world for all and the generations to come.
Dear friends, after two years the pandemic is still on the rampage; after six years we are still lagging behind on the SDG goals, with 129 countries not on track to have sustainably managed water resources by 2030. Time is short, the challenge is huge, but in fulfilling our responsibility the future is promising. Let us join hands to innovate with vision and renewed vigor in 2022!
I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year!