River Basin Management 2015
8th International Conference on River Basin Management including all aspects of Hydrology, Ecology, Environmental Management, Flood Plains and Wetlands Development
17 - 19 June 2015
A Coruña, Spain
The Eighth International Conference of River Basin Management was held in A Coruña, Spain, organised by Wessex Institute and sponsored by the International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning. The meeting covered different aspects of Hydrology, Ecology, Environmental Management, and Flood Plains and Wetlands.
The conference followed the success of previous meetings which started in Cardiff, UK (2001), followed by Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (2003); Bologna, Italy (2005); Kos, Greece (2007); Malta (2009); Riverside, California (2011); and the New Forest, UK (2013), home of the Wessex Institute.
Papers from previous conferences, as well as those of River Basin 2015, are archived in digital format in the Institute library at http://www.witpress.com/elibrary where they are permanently available to the international community.
River Basin systems are under increased pressure due to man-made, as well as natural causes. Man-made changes in the river basin can lead to serious damage that may require restoration and rehabilitation, the effects of which need to be carefully studied beforehand. In addition, natural events such as floods and landslides can modify river basins. Erosion and sedimentation can be induced by natural phenomena, as well as by anthropogenic activities, usually associated with changes in the landscape and use of land. A growing awareness of climate change has led to studying its effects on river basins.
The objective of this series of conferences is to bring stakeholders together so that their interaction can foster mutual understanding and lead to better solutions for the management of river basins.
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
Carlos opened the conference by referring to the objective of the Wessex Institute to act as a medium for the transfer of knowledge and, in particular, interdisciplinary work. This is achieved through a series of activities, including the conference programme.
The Institute – Carlos said – now organises 20-25 meetings a year in different countries, with the collaboration of partners from all over the world. This programme is essential to transfer knowledge and to create research networks in a wide variety of fields.
The work of the Institute – Carlos explained – is continuously evolving to reflect the needs of industry and society as a whole. Although the expertise of WIT is based on the development of computer tools for engineering and science, these codes can be applied to many different problems. This ensures that the Institute’s research is essentially transdisciplinary.
Another important activity of WIT serving the international community is the publication of books and journals. The work is carried out by WIT Press, its publishing arm. In addition to conference books, the number of monographs continues to grow while seven International Journals are being published or in the process of appearing shortly. The emphasis of the Journals is on interdisciplinary research trying to cover fields not properly considered by other publications.
Presenters at WIT conferences are encouraged to submit enhanced versions of papers to one of the journals, the most appropriate in this case being the International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning.
Carlos ended by describing some of the work taking place at the WIT Campus in the New Forest National Park in the UK. The Campus can accommodate forty-five residents in individual rooms, most with ensuite facilities. These residential facilities are unique for a comparatively small research institute and most conducive to research.
Carlos 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.
The papers presented at the conference were classified under a series of topics, as follows:
- River and watershed management
- Flood risk management
- Erosion and sediment transport
- Water resource management
- Water quality
- River basin risk analysis
- Extreme event management
The meeting was enhanced by a series of keynote addresses, ie
“Assessment of flood vulnerability in the Bodva catchment using multicriteria analysis and geographical information systems”, by Martina Zelenakova, Technical University of Kosice, Slovakia.
“Drought analysis in Slovakia: regionalization, frequency analysis and precipitation thresholds”, by Maria Manuela Portela, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal.
“Intake systems in ephemeral rivers”, by Luis Castillo, Technical University of Cartagena, Spain.
“ALICE: an effective tool for groundwater-level regulation for large vine growing areas”, by Zuzana Boukolova, Vodni Zdroje, Czech Republic.
The International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC) met over dinner to discuss reconvening the conference in 2017. The meeting took place in a well-known restaurant famous for the quality of its fish and sea food. The objectives of the meeting were discussed and new topics proposed. Several nominations were made for the ISAC and different locations proposed. WIT Conference Division is to investigate them and decide shortly where to hold the next meeting.
The conference banquet took place in a restaurant renowned for its Galician specialities. The dinner consisted of a series of typical starters, followed by sea scallops and a main course of local veal. The wines were the excellent local white Albarino and Rioja reds, ending with a classical orujo, a grappa like strong Galician liqueur.
The main attraction of the evening was an ensemble playing typical Galician music, consisting of two bagpipers and two drummers. Bagpipes are very much part of the Celtic culture of the region. More melodic than the well-known Scottish bagpipes, they are part of all major festivities in Galicia. The excellent pipers, coming from Santiago de Compostela, added to the enjoyment of the evening.
Closing of the Conference
The meeting was closed by Carlos, who reminded the delegates of the possibility of submitting an enhanced version of their paper for publication in the International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, which is an Open Access publication and has achieved a wide circulation.
Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary in Volume 197 of WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment (ISSN: 1746-448X Digital ISSN: 1743-3541). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at http://witpress.com/elibrary
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