ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
Conference theme and aims
The theme of the conference, “Living Catchments” emphasizes not only the human element of watershed and river basin management but also the dynamism and complexity as a melting pot of various anthropogenic interests (industry, residential, environmental, institutional, recreational, etc.) and their interdependencies with the interests of the natural world. From mountains to prairies, from flood plains to ocean coasts, from cities to towns, villages, ranches and farms, everyone lives in and benefits from a catchment, and in turn, impacts and is impacted by its water quality and water quantity.
A catchment-based approach to managing water resources look at activities and issues in the catchment as a whole, rather than considering different aspects separately. It requires a diverse range of processes to be considered, including the hydrology and land use, as well as broader political, economic, social and ecological dynamics that influence water availability and quality. A catchment-based approach encourages organizations to consider holistically how competing demands on water resources from a range of stakeholders (domestic water users, industry, regulators, politicians) can create pressures and lead to conflict if not appropriately managed. It also requires that people from different sectors be brought together to identify issues and agree on priorities for action, and ultimately build local partnerships to put these actions in place. Importantly, when managing these ‘living catchments’ it is now common place that are said to be closed in terms of additional allocable water. To this end we encourage inputs focusing on prioritises in the water value chain.
The 14th International Water Association (IWA) Specialist Conference on Watershed and River Basin Management is intended to present and discuss the latest developments, strategies, techniques and applications of international best practices in integrated watershed and basin management. This conference aims to be a think-tank and discussion platform that provides a step forward in terms of awareness, innovative models, and best practices in water sustainability and the allocation of a severely limited resource. Technical sessions will provide a forum for presentations on the challenges of sustainable water management on all scales, from local to global, in the face of drought, flood, changing climate, and the changing human landscape. Conference panels, poster sessions, lunches and technical events will allow for the exchange of ideas between nations, cultures, and disciplines.
ABOUT THE CONFERENCE ORGANISERS
International Water Association (IWA)
Water underpins every aspect of human and environmental existence. The severe water challenges facing the world today require an unprecedented global response. IWA members and staff are situated in 130 countries worldwide, forming the largest international network of water professionals working towards a water wise world.
Innovative, solutions- and service- oriented, they work across a range of areas that contribute to the progression of water management worldwide.
Their programmes develop research and projects focused on solutions for water and wastewater management; they organise world-class events that bring the latest science, technology and best practice to the water sector at large; they work to place water on the global political agenda and to influence best practice in regulation and policy making; and they provide services to IWA’s global membership.
W&RBM Specialist Group of the IWA
The goal of the Watershed and River Basin Management (WRBM) Specialist Group is to promote the understanding, utilization, and values of integrated watershed management approaches for the beneficial and sustainable use of rivers and watersheds worldwide. It seeks to achieve this by the sharing of expertise and experience among its members and with other interested individuals and organisations, organizing specialist conferences, issuance of newsletters, undertaking of cooperative projects, and engaging in other activities under the auspices of the IWA.
The Water Institute of Southern Africa (WISA)
The vision of WISA is to promote professional excellence in the water sector through building expertise, sharing knowledge and improving quality of life
Their Mission is to be a professional, comprehensive, independent, volunteer, water sector community institution, that provides diverse membership benefits, and supports the Africa water sector in a representative and effective way.
They want to ensure that all Members experience WISA’s value proposition and want to grow WISA’s strategic partnership with all the players in the sector.
International Water Association-Southern Africa (IWA-SA)
The objectives of IWA-SA are to elevate the profile of the South African water sector in the IWA global arena and to promote the profile and activities of IWA locally .They want to support and facilitate South African members to play active role in IWA activities globally.
Their objectives are
• To promote knowledge and advance expertise in holistic water management for the benefit of the Country capitalising on the international conduit that the IWA provides.
• To co-ordinate the activities of the IWA in South Africa with the interests of other relevant national institutions.