River Basin Management 2017

9th International Conference on River Basin Management - Including all aspects of Hydrology, Ecology, Environmental Management, Flood Plains and Wetlands


19 - 21 July, 2017
Prague, Czech Republic


River Basin Management 2017

The Ninth International Conference on River Basin Management took place in Prague, the Czech Republic, organised by the Wessex Institute, sponsored by the WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, and supported by the International Journal of Environmental Impacts.

The meeting followed the success of the series of conferences started in Cardiff, UK (2001), followed by Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (2003); Bologna, Italy (2005); Kos, Greece (2007); Malta (2009); Riverside, California (2011); New Forest , UK (2013), home of the Wessex Institute; and the previous meeting in A Coruña, Spain (2015).

River Basin Management includes all aspects of Hydrology, Ecology, Environmental Management, Flood Plains and Wetlands. Riverine systems are coming under increasing pressure due to anthropological and natural causes. Prominent amongst the problems affecting them is water scarcity and quality, which requires the development of improved methods for better river management.

Changes in the landscape, use of the land and climate conditions lead to a continuous evaluation of the river basin management objectives. This requires the development of better measuring tools as well as the use of increasingly accurate computer software.

Catastrophic events such as floods and associated landslides, erosion and sedimentation can have serious effects not only on life and property but also on the basin ecology. Frequently these problems are aggravated by the unforeseen consequences of man made changes in the river basin. This has led in recent years to work on river restoration and rehabilitation with various degrees of success.

The conference provided a platform to exchange knowledge and hold productive discussions. Papers presented at the meeting, as well as those of previous conferences, are permanently archived in digital format in the Wessex Institute website at http://www.witpress.com/elibrary where they are available to the international community.

Opening of the Conference

Professor Stefano Mambretti, a member of the Board of Directors of the Wessex Institute, welcomed the delegates and explained the objectives of the WIT conference series by stressing the work of the Institute for international dissemination of knowledge.

The Conferences – Stefano said – are an important part of WIT activities which also include research in new software tools for scientists and engineers; services to industry and publication of books and journals. WIT collaborates with many institutions around the world and has helped to set up a large number of projects and networking.

The research carried out in its New Forest Campus was founded on research and consulting services for industry. The current emphasis – Stefano explained – is in the energy and aerospace industries, but the software tools developed by the Institute can be applied to solve a wide number of problems and the aim is to respond to the most pressing demands for the research to continue to evolve as industry’s requirements change.

The Institute also responds to the need for information by supporting not only the e-library containing conference papers but a growing number of international journals. The more recent is the one on Environmental Impact.

Stefano ended his opening remarks by inviting the audience to collaborate with WIT and hoping that they will be able to find new contacts during the conference. He also invited the participants to visit the WIT campus next time they are in the region. WIT can easily be reached from London and the main airports of Heathrow and Gatwick.

RNDr. Zuzana Boukalova from Vodní Zdroje company (Water Resources company), and Co-Chair of the conference continued by inviting the delegates to see a few sights in the Czech Republic and especially Prague, which is the historical capital of Bohemia. Nicknamed “the City of a Hundred Spires”, Prague is home to a number of famous cultural attractions. The city sits amid the gentle landscapes of the Bohemian plateau, straddling the Vltava River, which is the longest river in the Czech Republic. Main attractions include the Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge, the Old Town Square with the Prague astronomical clock and the Jewish Quarter. The historical centre of Prague is listed in the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage Register. It is a city of culture boasting more than ten major museums, along with numerous theatres, cinemas, and other historical exhibits.

Invited Presentations

The meeting was enhanced by a series of keynote addresses, ie

• “A Century of works on River Seveso: from unregulated development to the basin reclamation”, by Stefano Mambretti, Politecnico di Milano, Italy.
• “Relations between the microscale river bed morphology and the macrozoobenthos – implications for the ecological quality assessment and the definition of reference conditions” by Michael Groll, Universitat Marburg, Germany
• “Uncertainty in minimum instream flow requirements for streams in semi-arid environments”, by Michael Barber, University of Utah, USA.
• “Investigation of discharge and sedimentation rates of Sefid-roud river after de-siltation of Sefid-roud Dam” by Seyed Neshaei, University of Guiland, Iran

• “Climate services contribution to sustainable wine production in San Juan, Argentina” by Zuzana Boukalova, Vodní Zdroje, Czech Republic
• “Water retention measures – case study from Slovakia” by Martina Zelenakova, Technical University of Kosice, Slovakia
• “Changes in public perceptions of river basin management priority issues over the last 28 years in the Pacific Northwest, USA”, by Robert Mahler, University of Idaho, USA,USA.
• “Rack length in bottom intake systems” by Juan Garcia, Technical University of Cartagena, Spain

Technical visit

The Waterworks at Káraný is a drinking water supplier both for the capital of Prague and the central part of the Central Bohemian Region. Káraný waterworks provides high-quality drinking water at a rate of approx. 1,000 l/s, which covers about 1/3 of the capital's demand.

The waterworks system is divided into two parts, both of which are dependent on the Jizera river. The older part of the system was put into operation in as early as 1913 and, at that time, was unparalleled in Europe in terms of its scope as well as the technical solution. It is based on natural bank infiltration of the river water into the sandy and gravelly sediments. The infiltrated water is then pumped by a number of wells drilled along the Jizera river.

The other part of the system, constructed in the 1960s, relies on artificial groundwater recharge. The surface water from the Jizera is allowed to infiltrate into the underground formations using infiltration basins. After certain retention time underground, the water becomes clean from organic contamination and is enriched with minerals. This water is then mixed with the water obtained by bank infiltration and, after chlorination, can be supplied directly to consumers.

The guided visit was very successful and the delegates showed an interest in all parts of the system.

Conference Dinner

The conference banquet took place in the Savoy, a restaurant renowned for its Czech specialities. The dinner consisted of a series of typical starters, followed by the traditional Czech soup Kulajda and the main course of roasted duck. The wines were the excellent local white Pinot Gris and red St. Laurent.

At the closure of the conference, a roundtable was held with the participation of many delegates in the discussion.

The meeting was closed by Zuzana and Stefano who thanked the delegates for having participated in yet another successful conference in Water Resources Management and hoped that they will consider attending another conference in the WIT programme.

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