Urban Water 2014

2nd International Conference on the Design, Construction, Maintenance, Monitoring and Control of Urban Water Systems


27 - 29 May 2014
The Algarve, Portugal


Urban Water 2014

The Second International Conference on the Design, Construction, Maintenance, Monitoring and Control of Urban Water Systems took place in the Algarve, Portugal, organised by the Wessex Institute, UK and sponsored by the WIT Transactions on the Built Environment and the International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning. The meeting was reconvened following the success of the first conference, held in the New Forest, home of the Wessex Institute, in 2012.

The Conference Chairmen were Prof Stefano Mambretti from the Politecnico of Milano and Prof Carlos A Brebbia, Director of Wessex Institute.

As our cities continue to expand, the urban infrastructures need to be re-evaluated and adapted to new requirements related to the increase in population and the growing areas under urbanisation. The Conference dealt with those problems considering two main topics: water supply systems and urban drainage.

Topics such as contamination and pollution in urban water bodies, as well as the monitoring of water recycling systems are currently receiving a great deal of attention from researchers and professional experts working in the water industry. Water distribution networks often suffer substantial losses which repeat wastage of energy and treatment. Effective, efficient and energy saving management is necessary in order to optimise the performance. Sewer systems are under constant pressure due to growing urbanisation and climate change, and the environmental impact caused by urban drainage overflows is related to both water quantity and water quality.

Prof Carlos Brebbia opened the Conference by pointing out the importance of these meetings to the objectives of Wessex Institute. WIT – Carlos explained – is committed to the dissemination of knowledge at an international level. It interacts with many institutions around the world and supports industry, particularly in the energy and aerospace fields.

Another important activity of WIT – Carlos said – is the publication of advanced technological and scientific books and journals. Papers presented at WIT conferences are published in WIT Transactions and appear regularly in important databases, including referencing and abstract services. They are also archived online in the WIT eLibrary (http://library.witpress.com/), where they are permanently available to the international scientific community.

Carlos ended his welcoming address by thanking the delegates for their participation in Urban Water and hoping that the Conference will be useful to them in terms not only of acquiring new knowledge but finding ways to study with colleagues from all over the world.

 Invited Presentations

There were a series of invited presentations during the meeting, given by well know colleagues:

  • “Tests on a polyvinyl chloride pipe from an existing water distribution system” by Beata Kowalska, Lublin University of Technology, Poland.
  • “Dealing with uncertainties in losses assessment in water supply networks: preliminary results” by Stefano Mambretti, Politecnico di Milano, Italy.
  • “Identification of the best flood retrofitting scenario in an urban watershed by means of a Bayesian Decision Network” by Goffredo La Loggia, University of Palermo, Italy.
  • “Probabilistic analysis of spills from stormwater detention facilities” by Gianfranco Becciu, Politecnico di Milano, Italy.

 Conference Topics

All other papers were grouped under the following topics:

  • Water supply networks
  • Network design
  • Water quality
  • Leakage and losses
  • Combined sewer networks
  • Flood control
  • Modelling and experimentation

 Special Session

Prof Gianfranco Becciu from the Politecnico di Milano, organised a special session on “Urban Drainage Systems for Water Sensitive Cities” which consisted of three other excellent papers, in addition to his keynote address. They were as follows:

  • “Reliability analysis of sustainable storm water drainage systems”
  • “Design rainfalls in a climate changing world”
  • “Permeable pavement used on sustainable drainage systems (SUDs): a synthetic review of recent literature”

 Social Occasions

The conference offered the participants many occasions to meet in an informal setting outside the formal sessions. The location of the hotel is one of the most beautiful parts of the Algarve, and contributed to enhance the social events, which included complimentary lunches.

The International Scientific Advisory Committee met over dinner at one of the many excellent fish restaurants in the Alvor Marina. They discussed how to enhance the appeal of the meeting by revising and updating the list of topics covered by the conference. Also they discussed several nominations for new members to the Committee and the location for the 2016 conference, some of which are to be investigated by the WIT Conference Director.

The Conference banquet took place in a typical Portuguese restaurant located in a beautiful village near the hotel where the meeting was held. The main dish consisted of lamb cooked in a Portuguese style and accompanied by excellent wines. A special programme of fado folklore-music was arranged. The singer was accompanied by Portuguese and classical guitar players and she went through a range of different pieces.  At the end of the meal Carlos toasted to the success of the meeting in the hope that it will help to strengthen links between delegates from so many different countries. He also distributed a piece of ceramic to each participant. They were made and hand painted in a local pottery that retains the original designs and craftsmanship, an art that is being rapidly lost. Carlos hoped that the souvenir will help them to remember the happy occasion and the very successful conference.

The Conference was closed by Carlos who wished the delegates a good trip home and invited them to visit Wessex Institute next time they are in the region.

 Conference Proceedings

The proceedings Urban Water 2014 – Urban Water II, 444pp (Print ISBN: 978-1-84564-776-6; eISBN: 978-1-84564-781-0) are available from WIT Press. Orders can be placed on the WIT Press web site at www.witpress.com or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., telephone: +44 (0) 238 029 3223 or fax: +44 (0) 238 029 2853.

Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary as Volume 139 of WIT Transactions on the Built Environment (ISSN: 1746-4498, Digital ISSN 1743-3509). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at http://library.witpress.com

 Related Conferences

 The Algarve Conference Photos