Water Resources Management 2015
8th International Conference on Sustainable Water Resources Management Development
15 - 17 June 2015
A Coruña, Spain
The Eighth International Conference on Water Resources Management took place in A Coruña, Spain, organised by the Wessex Institute and sponsored by the International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning.
The meeting followed the success of the series of conferences started in Halkidiki, Greece (2001), followed by Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (2003); The Algarve, Portugal (2005); Kos, Greece (2007); Malta (2009); Riverside, California (2011); and the previous meeting in the New Forest , UK (2013), home of the Wessex Institute.
The increasing scarcity of water in many regions of the world requires the development of new technological and scientific tools for successful management. The demands are compounded by a growing world population expecting a better standard of living. Agricultural and industrial usage as major consumers will benefit from state of the art technologies and solutions to accelerate sustainability.
The depletion of current water resources is compounded by anthropogenic activities that affect their quality. Climate change is restricting even further the availability of water in many regions of the world, which leads to a permanent source of conflict. Water resources management needs to take into consideration water rights and geo-political aspects, with a view to achieving appropriate governance and regulatory solutions.
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 Carlos A Brebbia, Chair of the conference, 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 – Carlos 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 – Carlos 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 eLibrary containing conference papers, but a growing number of international journals. The more recent is the one on Energy Production and Management in collaboration with the Ural Federal University, and two more are being launched shortly, one dealing with Transport Integration and the other with Heritage Architecture.
Carlos continued by inviting the delegates to see a few sights in Galicia, a region of Spain different from others, with its own Celtic culture and rich traditions. An important place to visit is Santiago de Compostela, famed for being a pilgrimage site since the Middle Ages. The town architecture and its renowned University are unique in Europe.
A Coruña itself – Carlos continued – was an ancient settlement. It was an important site during Roman times, from which it acquired its renowned lighthouse, called the Torre de Hercules. The town’s rich Celtic culture can be better appreciated by visiting the San Anton museum, in the castle of the same name, where there is a display of unique Celtic jewellery, discovered in recent times during the construction of the new University buildings. It was also at the same site that the battle of Elvina, between the British forces, under General John Moore, and the Napoleonic troops took place. The battle, which marked the defeat of the first British attempt to fight Napoleon in the Iberian Peninsula, ended with the defeat of the British troops and the death of John Moore. The tomb of the General now lies in the centre of a beautiful small square, in the old town. Every year at the anniversary of the battle a small contingent of British soldiers and Embassy representatives pay homage to the General in a moving ceremony.
A Coruña was and is a major port, now frequently visited by cruise ships as the attractions of the city are becoming better known throughout the world. The Galician region is well-known for the excellence of its cuisine and the wines, particularly the white ones, which are now exported all over the world.
Carlos ended his address by stressing that the local people are well-known for their hospitality and kindness to strangers. They will discover why nobody feels like a foreigner in A Coruña.
The papers presented at the conference were classified under a series of topics, as follows:
- Water management and planning
- River basin management
- Urban water management
- Climate change
- Water quality
- Governance and regulations
- Pollution contaminants and control
- Water pollution
The meeting was enhanced by a series of keynote addresses, ie
“Water as a capital asset – challenges and opportunities for sustainable water management”, by Henning Bjornlund, University of South Australia, Australia.
“Application of a numerical model designed for integrated watershed management”, by Francisco Padilla, University of A Coruña, Spain.
“Changing the water paradigm: how real-time data puts sustainability into water utilities”, by Graham Symmonds, Global Water Resources, USA.
“Minimizing the head losses increases caused by valves in hydraulic networks”, by Victor Diniz, Research Consultant, Brazil.
“Assessment of flood vulnerability in the Bodva catchment using multicriteria analysis and geographical information systems”, by Martina Zeleňakova, Technical University of Kosice, Slovakia.
The International Scientific Advisory Committee met during the conference to discuss the performance of the meeting and the improvements that can be made when the conference is reconvened. The meeting took place over dinner at a restaurant serving typical Galician dishes, accompanied by the local Albarino wine. A series of new topics were proposed and nominations received for the appointment of new members of the Committee. WIT Conference Division will investigate several locations proposed for the next conference.
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 thanked the delegates for having participated in yet another successful conference in Water Resources Management and hoped that they will return in 2017 when the meeting is reconvened.
Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary in Volume 196 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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