IAHR, founded in 1935, is a worldwide independent member-based organisation of engineers and water specialists working in fields related to the hydro-environmental sciences and their practical application. Activities range from river and maritime hydraulics to water resources development and eco-hydraulics, through to ice engineering, hydroinformatics, and hydraulic machinery.
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IAHR APD 2016, Colombo Sri Lanka
The 20th Congress of the Asia Pacific Division of IAHR was held at the Galadari Hotel Colombo from 28th to 31st of August 2016. The Theme of the Congress was "Water in the past, Water in the present and Water in the future". In keeping the theme a special session on Water Heritage in the Asia Pacific area was held as well.  The Congress had 260 delegates from 36 countries participating. The keynote speakers at the opening ceremony was Prof Bruce Melville and Prof N Ratnayake. They were followed by Keynote Speakers on Day 2 and Day 3 by, Prof Vallam Sundar, Prof Xiaodong.  Prof M Ghidouwi, Prof T Ishigaki and Prof Sumi. The Welcome Reception was a gala dinner at the Galadari hotel while the Banquet was a beach party at Mt Lavania Hotel. Congress concluded with a technical tour going to the Port City construction project.
The first ever Water Heritage Award was awarded to “Parakrama Samudraya” a reservoir aimed at irrigation and constructed in the 11th century. It has a surface area of 22,600,000 m2 and a catchment area of 75,000,000 m2.  

Award being presented by APD Chair Prof Woo to President Institute of Engineers Sri Lanka 
Dr Christopher George, IAHR Executive Director at Opening Ceremony
At the Opening Ceremony
Dr. Gregory De Costa, Chairman Organizng committee and Vice President APD
Prof Peter Goodwin, President IAHR at the Opening ceremony
Prof Bruce Melville, Keynote speaker at the 2016 IAHR APD
Prof N Ratnayake, Keynote speaker at the 2016 IAHR APD