Since the outbreak of COVID-19 at the beginning of this year, IWHR has received warm greetings from our overseas friends, which gave us tremendous courage while we were making great effort to protect ourselves as well as our loved ones from the disease.
Now the pandemic is spreading around the world, with the number of confirmed cases skyrocketing and state of urgency declared in many countries and regions. Can’t be more concerned about our overseas friends, especially those in hard-hit countries, we sent our sincere greetings, as well as some medical supplies that are urgently needed for controlling the disease, to research institutes, international organizations, corporations, etc., that are in various forms of collaboration with us over the years.
Many of our letter got very quick and warm response – and good news is that most of our friends are safe and in good health:
“From CEDEX we send you our best wishes for full recovery and success in the fight against COVID-19, … Once this problematic situation has been overcome, which is now affecting us severely in Spain and against which we are fighting, we will continue to work normally in our two institutions and together in support of the IAHR.”
-- Ramón M. Gutiérrez Serret, Secretary-General of IAHR Spanish Secretariat
The Spain Centro de Estudios y Experimentación de Obras Públicas (Center for Studies and Experimentation of Public Works, CEDEX) is the host utility of the Spanish Secretariat of the International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR), while IWHR hosts its Chinese Secretariat. The two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2015, which aimed at enhancing joint efforts to boost the long-term prosperity of IAHR.
Signing of MOU between IWHR and CEDEX
“For the time being, and according to what has been achieved greatly in China, we are controlling the evolution of the spread and cases’ growth.
“Crisis management is becoming a key aspect of our global world especially when a minor disease is so deeply and on an irrational way affects the global economy of our societies. … In fact, we may face similar events with contamination of water resources. In these situation, international cooperation will be essential.”
-- Professor Philippe Gourbesville, Polytech Nice Sophia
Having signed an MOU in 2014, IWHR and Polytech Nice Sophia have been exercising deep collaboration by talent exchange, co-training of students, research cooperation, and joint sponsorship of and participation in international water events.
Professor Gourbesville, appointed as an Honored Professor of IWHR in 2014, won the Outstanding Award in International Cooperation issued by IWHR in 2018 during the 60th anniversary of IWHR.
Professor Philippe Gourbesville
“I am also hopeful that together we will be able to ‘weather the storm’ and continue with rejuvenated energy to recover from the lost time and make new progress in the future.”
-- Professor Slobodan P. Simonovic, Chairperson of the ICFM Ad Hoc Committee
In 2008, Professor Simonovic signed an MOU with IWHR on behalf of the University of Western Ontario. As the Chairperson of the International Conference on Flood Management (ICFM) Ad Hoc Committee, Professor Simonovic has been providing solid support to IWHR’s work on flood prevention and disaster mitigation, as well as the work of ICFM permanent secretariat which began to be hosted by IWHR in 2017.
During Spring Festival this year when coronavirus cases was soaring in China, Professor Simonovic sent his greetings to IWHR, caring about the health of all his colleagues and friends here. Now that the pandemic is hitting Canada as well, we also sent our warm regards, hoping all our friends there can stay safe and healthy.
As a Professor of the University of Western Ontario, Professor Simonovic now is working hard to minimize the risk for his students in this difficult time.
Professor Simonovic lecturing at IWHR Global Vision Forum
“We are all well here and looking forward to a time when we can work with you without travel or other restrictions. Well done to China for controlling the virus. I hope that we can quickly do the same.”
-- Mr. Eddie Rich, Chief Executive Officer of IHA
IWHR and the International Hydropower Association (IHA) have been in deep and frequent collaboration since 2008, when the then IHA President attended the High-Level International Forum on Water Resources and hydropower organized by IWHR. Besides the consistent participation in all the IHA World Congress since then, In 2015, IWHR also supported the 5th IHA World Congress as the co-organizer.
IWHR is also the host utility of IHA China Office. The two sides have been witnessing each other’s development in a win-win collaborative relationship in these years.
IHA CEO Mr. Eddie Rich with IWHR President KUANG Shangfu
“We are proceeding with an abundance of caution to protect our 6 locations and their communities. It is also inspiring to see the global collaboration to address the problem.
“We look forward to our continued research collaboration to address the other global challenges … My very best wishes to the IWHR family.”
-- Professor Peter Goodwin, Former President of IAHR
As the former president of IAHR, Professor Goodwin made remarkable contribution to IAHR’s development. Having visited IWHR and several other water-related agencies in China many times, Professor Goodwin greatly helps enhance China’s influence in the international water community.
With guidance and support from Professor Goodwin, the IAHR Chinese Secretariat has been operating smoothly since it was hosted by IWHR in 2015, actively facilitating the sustainable development of IAHR at large.
Professor Goodwin has lectured at the Global Vision Forum several times and attended many academic meetings in IWHR, bringing cutting-edge thoughts and discoveries in eco-hydraulics in the world.
Professor Peter Goodwin lecturing at IWHR Global Vision Forum
“It gives us a lot of hope that China has successfully mastered this great challenge. … Even in time of crisis, we remain in close contact with the IWHR to exchange experiences. We will continue to build on our strong relationship and cooperate even more closely in the future.”
-- Professor Thomas Rauschenbach, Director of Fraunhofer IOSB-AST
In 2011, IWHR and Fraunhofer IOSB signed an MOU for implementing the Chinese-German Research Project named Small Hydropower Plants: Assessment of Climate Protection Potential and Improvement by Smart Technologies (HAPPI), and have since then been expanding and deepening academic exchange and project cooperation to find both sides more spaces and opportunities of development.
HAPPI Project members at IWHR
“The situation is serious in terms of infection spread especially for the high load of people in the hospitals. To stay at home is the only real weapon we have to fight. … I hope after this period we can recover part of the activities we did together on the Yangtze river basin.”
-- Marco Mancini, Professor of POLIMI
IWHR and Polytechnic of Milan (POLIMI) signed an MOU in 2011, reaching an agreement to start collaboration by knowledge sharing, collaborative research, student exchange and co-training, etc..
Expert from Polytechnic of Milan visiting IWHR
“I hope that we all pass through this difficult period safe and stronger and will be able to carry on our fruitful partnership taking into account the great understanding and friendship between our two companies.”
-- Mr. Jean-Fran?ois BALMITGERE, EDF
IWHR and Electricité de France (EDF) signed an MOU in 2015, and have been continuously pushing forward bilateral exchanges and collaboration in rock-fill dam technologies, dam safety, electrical equipment, sediment management, anti-seismic protection, automated monitoring, etc. The two sides have visited each other many times, and have convened several on-site seminars and video conferences to discuss cutting-edge issues and share research outcomes.
EDF delegation visiting IWHR
“It is my sincere hope that COVID-19 will come to an end and both our two countries will overcome difficult situations soon. I wish good health for all the members of IWHR and their families.”
-- Mr. Seung Heon Han, President of KICT
IWHR and Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT) signed cooperative agreement in 2002 and set up a mechanism for once-a-year academic exchange. Since then, the two sides have conducted a series of collaboration through academic exchanges and joint research projects.
President Han sent his warm greetings to IWHR earlier in February, the hardest time for China in the COVID-19 outbreak. Now returning their warm kindness, we sent our greetings, too, and hope for the crisis to be ended soon.
16th IWHR-KICT Joint Seminar in IWHR
“Indeed, this novel coronavirus is an unprecedented challenge and hardship for all of us. However, as hardship reveals true friends, we have mitigated the epidemic through our collective efforts and countermeasures while deepening our friendship.”
-- Mr. Jae-Hyeon Park, CEO of K-water
In 2015, IWHR signed an MOU and became a long-term partner of K-water, a Korean state-owned corporation focusing on improving economy and life quality through efficient development and management of water resources. Earlier this year when the coronavirus cases were surging in China, K-water donated some face masks to the Changjiang Water Resources Commission Hospital, and Mr. Park expressed his gratefulness that “those masks were delivered to the surgeons and nurses who were in need them to treat as many patients as possible.”
IWHR delegation visiting K-Water for technical exchanges
“We are committed to providing safe and secured working environment to all staff. … Thank you for your understanding and commitment as we respond to this challenge situation together.”
-- Md Nasir Md. Noh, Director General of NAHRIM
In 2017, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Water Resources Cooperation was signed between the Government of Malaysia and the Government of People’s Republic of China. To put this bilateral goverment agreement into practice, IWHR delegation visited the National Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia (NAHRIM) In September 2019. The two sides reached consensus on the collaboration in sponge city construction, emerging technologies for water resources management, rainwater management system for cities, etc.
IWHR delegation visiting NAHRIM in 2019
“As for now, there's no greater help and feeling in the world than knowing that we are all together to get through this! Greetings to all in IWHR and let’s combat this Covid-19 together!”
-- Dr. Nor Azazi Zakaria, USM
The Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) is also a new friend of IWHR under the intergovernmental MOU between China and Malaysia. The two sides are seeking collaboration in research projects, graduate student education, international influence improvement, etc., in order to benefit people in both countries.
IWHR delegation signing MOU with USM
The current situations are unfavorable in many countries, and that’s the exact reason we need to help each other and fight together. Collaboration is our strongest weapon against this new virus, as well as many other challenges we human beings are facing together in this globalized world, as we are a community of shared future. IWHR is always open to exchange and collaboration, and we are looking forward to embracing a brighter tomorrow together with our friends when the darkest days have gone.