Brief Outlines: IAHR Africa Online Summer School

Below are the brief outilines of lectures given at the IAHR Africa Online Summer School organised by the IAHR Africa-Division.

 IAHR Africa Online Summer School

Human Extinction: Inevitable Or Avoidable

Prof. Jörg Imberger

The scientific literature in the social science area is generally very pessimistic about the prospect for human survival. This pessimism is based on the fact that modern technology is severing the parallel, direct connections between people and between people and nature, that are based on our five senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Technology is rapidly replacing these senses in a way, that most of us now see and experience the world through the internet, which is a simple series data stream, a change that evolution has not prepared us for. Psychologist have shown that this impersonal way of “communication” is leading to a huge increase in mental illness and drug use and is negatively disrupting our decision-making processes. All these factors contribute to a lifestyle that is becoming increasingly more unstable and is reducing humankind’s ability to solve even basic day to day problems.

This is happening at a time when the rate of human impact on our planetary resources is becoming too rapid and too extensive to be easily managed. Combined, these two trends are leading to the "Perfect Storm" that is brewing for mankind. Consequently, if we want to survive, humans need to learn and implement, a new way of living! Banning access to the internet is the first thing that comes to mind. However, this type of prohibition is a form of dictatorship that, in the age of technology, easily leads to uncontrolled anger and violence within the population affected! While this is a scenario that logically should be avoided, the frightening thing is that violence already seems to be on the rise throughout society and is a major factor in sociologists predicting the demise of mankind within the next 30 to 50 years.

To find a solution, as with all problems, the first step is to acknowledge that there is a problem. Second, we must use existing technologies to confront humans with the “externalities” of their actions. Third, we must use this new awareness to get humans to accept that non sustainable behaviour is simply a result of the wrong upbringing wiring the brain in a detrimental way and to show the public that education is much cheaper than enforcement. Fourth, we need to change the political system and the media, back to one of hope and optimism, so that people wake up in the morning feeling good about their world.

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Climate Change Adaptation 

Prof. Peter Goodwin

Traditional priorities in river and coastal management include balancing water supply reliability, energy production, flood risk reduction and economic development but these elements must be infused with principles of social justice and sustaining a trend toward a healthy earth system. The severity and urgency of adaptation measures to combat climate change require risk to be assessed and explicity included in management action and policies. Solutions must be customized to the local conditions and constraints. The lecture will provide examples of strategies and technologies that could be adapted to specific locations.

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> Select Publications and Resources for Climate Change Adaptation

Water Security from Global to Regional Scales

Prof. Roger Falconer

The talk will introduce some of the general challenges of global water security. The nexus between water, food and energy will be introduced, along with the concept of virtual water and the impact of the water footprint at the global scale. A case study will then be introduced to show the need to manage water management etc, at both the global and regional scale.

Contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) using an ecosystem-based approach

Dr. Ellis Penning

In this talk we will address the importance of understanding the role of ecosystem functioning to achieve numerous SDG-related objectives. The ecosystems within we live provide a range of ecosystem services and the way we manage these ecosystems affects how well we can use these valuable services. We address how ecosystem functioning plays a role in climate change adaptation strategies and biodiversity related-food and water security strategies. We will explore how using a catchment thinking approach may affect the choices we make in global water security challenges and how we can facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue within a multi-stakeholder approach to work towards inclusive strategies.

A short introduction to turbulent flows

Prof. Vladimir Nikora

The lecture will introduce key notions and features of turbulent flows. Major turbulence concepts and descriptive frameworks will be briefly summarized, including Reynolds averaging and associated hydrodynamic parameters and equations, Kolmogorov-Richardson energy cascade, and concept of coherent structures. The importance of turbulence in sediment dynamics, hydraulic resistance, mixing, and eco-hydraulics will be emphasized and examples given.

Jets and Plumes

Prof. Claudia Adduce

  • Turbulent Jets and Plumes

  • Buoyant jets

  • Effects of ambient fluid: ambient fluid stratification; ambient cross flow; bounded ambient fluid

Environmental Transport

Prof. Andrea Rinaldo

Shallow flows, with applications in hydraulic engineering

Prof. Wim Uijttewaal

In this lecture specific characteristics of shallow flow turbulence will be addressed. The vertical confinement of such flows has a strong influence on the development of horizontal lenght scales and transport of mass and momentum. As the lenght scales are affected by specific flow configurations, bed roughness and presence of vegetations, it is important to include these aspects in the modelling of shallow flows.

Seasonal stratification and mixing of African lakes and reservoirs

Prof. Johny Alfred Wüest

This lecture reviews the very diverse seasonal stratification and mixing of lakes and reservoirs on the African continent. Specific attention will be given to the very deep and gas-containing meromictic lakes and to typical hydropower reservoirs. All examples define challenges in view of environmental integrity and hydraulic engineering.

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Principles of river morphodynamics

Prof. Ana Maria da Silva

This lecture will address:  

  • A view of the river from upstream to downstream reaches

  • The concept of downstream fining

  • River plan forms (straight, meandering and braiding)

  • A brief overview of the geometry and dynamics of meandering rivers

  • The principle of river self-formation

Fundamental concepts in environmental fluid mechanics

Prof. Harindra Joseph Fernando

Fundamental concepts in environmental fluid mechanics, including the effects of rotation, stratification and phase changes.

Sediment transport

Prof. Marcelo Garcia

Remediation of groundwater contamination

Prof. Brent Sleep

Vegetation Hydrodynamics

Prof. Heidi Nepf

Vegetation alters both the mean -and turbulent- velocity and dissipates wave energy, which can in turn after sediment transport. Through these processes, vegetation provides important ecosystem services, such as promoting water clarity, providing a buffer against erosion, and sequestering carbon. This lecture will summarize basic conceptsin vegetation hydrodynamics and the impact on sediment transport. 

Seawater desalination and environment

Prof. Maria Kennedy

Introduction on water resources planning and management

Prof. Dr. Elpida Kolokitha

“Άριστoν μεν ύδωρ”: “Best is Water”, Pindar 518 – 438 BC. The value of water

  • The changing water scene

  • The value, the price and the cost of water

  • "The Diamond-Water Paradox"

  • Public or private? Social or economic?

Transboundary water resources management

  • Principles of WRM and their application in transboundary river basins

  • Conflict or cooperation

  • The Nile paradox and its solution by Aristotle

Waves in Hydro-systems

Prof. Mohamed Ghidaoui

This lecture introduces the fundamental principles of waves and their application in hydro-systems. The content is built around the following questions: what is a wave and what are the necessary ingredients for a wave? How do these ingredients influence the character, speed and type of a wave? Most fluid books tell you that compressibility is negligible when Mach number is small; so why do we have compressibility (waterhammer) waves although Mach number is about 0.001!? What are the fundamental principles needed to model waves? How do numerical solutions alter the physics of waves?

Hydroinformatics-an ICT solution for water-related problems: Past experiences and ongoing projects

Prof. Ioana Popescu

Lecture will look at how integration of information and communication technologies within the water systems infrastructures can address the complex challenges that water resources management are faces with. Focus will be on modelling of floods and decision support systems for floods.

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