Sustainability of Engineered Rivers in Arid Lands:
Challenge and Response
23 September 2020
The theme of this webinar was that of a multiyear project, Sustainability of Engineered Rivers in Arid Lands (SERIDAS), introduced in Water International by Aysegül Kibaroglu, Jurgen Schmandt and George Ward in the article entitled “Engineered Rivers in Arid Lands: Searching for Sustainability in Theory and Practice” (42.3, 241-253).
During this webinar the invited panellists discussed on the work and importance of the SERIDAS project. This project looks mainly at the physical and social drivers behind change in river basins including environmental flows and various human needs. Other panellists focused on the impact of climate change on global preparation patterns and the ways that these changes will affect flows. Participants also learned about the relationship between surface water in rivers and groundwater systems. In Texas, for example, drought has impacted numerous groundwater resources, which can even have transboundary impacts on shared aquifers between the United States and Mexico.
Other presentations dived into detail with certain river basins such as the Nile River. This well-known and studied river basin is an iconic case of a river who has a long history of use and human alteration. As there are greater demands placed on the Nile’s water, including for agricultural and energy needs, there are increased demands on the water resources. Finally, panellists shared insights on the Tigris-Euphrates river system. In this area, like the Nile, the construction of dams has become a flash point for these transboundary resources. However, unlike the Nile, more active institutions have been created, which more efficiently manage these waters.
With over 250 registered attendees, IWRA’s webinar on “Sustainability of Engineered Rivers in Arid Lands: Challenge and Response” webinar was a very successful event. The Association would like to thank again its moderator James E. Nickum, Editor-in-Chief, Water International, and the panellists: Stephanie Glenn, Program Director, Hydrology and Watersheds, Houston Advanced Research Center; Aysegül Kibaroglu, Chair, Dept. of Political Science and International Relations, MEF University; Gerald R. North, University Distinguished Professor, Emeritus, Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M; Lars Ribbe, Professor, TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences; and, Jurgen Schmandt, Professor Emeritus, University of Texas. This webinar was presented by Scott McKenzie, PhD Candidate, University of British Columbia.
Click on the presentation titles below to access them:
- The climate change connection: Forced and natural
- Declining Environmental Flow and Groundwater
- The Nile River Basin
- The Euphrates-Tigris River Basin: Challenges and prospects
- SERIDAS: Challenge and response
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