The International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) 85th Anniversary Summit was hosted in a combination of a series of onsite and virtual meetings during December 14-17, 2020, organized by IWHR.
Focusing on eco-hydraulics, artificial intelligence (AI) and water, and water security in Africa, the Summit attracted more than 85 renowned water experts from research institutions, universities, government agencies, business corporations, and other stakeholders in over 30 countries and districts to give presentations sharing their perspectives of current water problems and calling for cross-boundary cooperation.
The in-person opening ceremony in Beijing
The Summit was to celebrate IAHR's extraordinary achievements as the global leader in hydro-environmental research and engineering. Founded 85 years ago, it has evolved into an international organization with more than 4,000 members from all over the world devoting themselves to the hydraulic research and engineering for a better water future for all.
“Working consistently to improve water-related research and application, IAHR has boosted the interdisciplinary development of water science and technologies, deepened mutual understanding of stakeholders, raised public awareness of and participation in water issues, and promoted the consensus of working on water to achieve sustainable development.” Dr. TIAN Xuebin, Vice Minister of Water Resources of China, noted at the opening ceremony.
Dr. TIAN spoke at the opening ceremony
Dr. TIAN introduced China’s water policies and relevant practices under the sustainable development framework. He expressed China’s willingness to use the IAHR platform to strengthen global partnerships, share its experiences and achievements in water resources management while learning from others, and contribute Chinese wisdom for achieving water-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the UN 2030 Agenda.
Stakeholders from several countries and regions shared their stories with IAHR and their takeaways from participation in global water governance. Dr. Seleshi Bekele, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy of Ethiopia, thanked IAHR for providing a leading exchange platform for water and environment professionals from around the world. He introduced Ethiopia’s plan to attract investment, build cooperation partnerships, advance international cooperation and improve related policies and regulations to enhance its water security and facilitate the SDGs.
Dr. Bekele spoke at the opening ceremony
Dr. Joseph H.W. Lee, President of IAHR, said as a community of scholars and experts in different fields of hydro-environmental research and practice, IAHR has made significant contributions to the development of water engineering and the protection of the environment in its 85 years of history. IAHR has developed a new Strategic Plan 2020-2023, and will endeavor to increase global presence, inspire, disseminate and catalyze state-of-the-art knowledge, promote diversity, and enhance international collaboration.
Dr. Joseph H.W. Lee spoke at the opening ceremony
Dr. KUANG Shangfu, President of IWHR, delivered his appreciation for international organizations as an indispensable platform for practicing multilateralism and advancing global water governance. He retrospected IWHR’s cooperation with IAHR since 1987, which significantly nurtured the exchanges between Chinese water scholars and their peers worldwide.
Dr. KUANG spoke at the opening ceremony
Ms. Concepción Marcuello Olona, Coordinator of International Water Issues of Directorate General of Water of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge of Spain, said water is one of the key environmental issues Spain needs to focus on, and Spain is strictly implementing protection of water resources and water quality to cope with challenges such as climate change. She also looked forward to more cooperation and exchange with IAHR in water resources management, watershed management, and other disciplines.
Ms. Olona spoke at the opening ceremony
Topics discussed during the Summit include climate change and coastal resilience, digital technologies for water supply, flood risk management and practice, regulation and investment for securing the wider water cycle, etc.
Founded in 1935, IAHR is a worldwide independent organization of engineers and water specialists working in fields related to the hydro-environmental sciences and their practical application. It contributes to sustainable development, the optimization of world water resources management and industrial flow processes. Its activities are supported by a full-time professional Secretariat with two offices – one in Madrid, Spain hosted by the consortium Spain Water, and one in Beijing, China hosted by IWHR.