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World Water Day 2020

Every nation member of the United Nations (UN) celebrates the World Water Day (designated in 1992 by the UN) to increase global awareness on the importance of water and WoWW was invited to present during the World Water Day held in Oslo, Norway (postponed from March to November 2020 due to the pandemic).

The main topic for the World Water Day in 2020 is Water and Climate Change and the connection between these two (for instance, floods, droughts, storms, water quality and even the spread of water-borne diseases and its effect in tourism). This comes hand in hand with WoWW’s focus on water-derived natural hazards, such as flash floods and quick clay landslides.

The event was organized by UNESCO, The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, The Norwegian Water Association, The Norwegian Hydrological Council, The Norwegian Society of Graduate Technical and Scientific Professionals (Tekna) and The Norwegian Institute for Water Research. The World Water Day included sessions on Global Perspectives: the relationship between water and climate change, Water and Climate Change: what are the students working with?, Water and Climate change: what is happening in Norway?, as well as the Junior Water Price ceremony award.

Adina presented “Serious gaming in the World of Wild Waters project and 3D visualization of floods” during the second session. WoWW’s motivation, project structure and potential applications were shown and exemplified with excerpts of the research carried out to date by all the WoWW modules. Moreover, the project’s current challenges were exposed and public participation and collaboration was encouraged. The presentation was recorded by the organizing committee and it’s available down below.

Adina presenting WoWW (credit: The Norwegian Water Association YouTube)

As every year in such occasion, the United Nations has released the “World Water Development Report 2020 – Water and Climate Change” (document available here and live presentation available here). Additionally, the topic selected for World Water Day in 2021 is #Water2Me.

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1st IAHR Young Professionals congress

The International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) has hosted their first Young Professionals congress this week. The congress aims to encourage networking and mentorship for young researchers in fields such as Fluvial Hydraulics, Hydroinformatics, Flood Risk Management or Sediment Transport, Experimental Methods and Instrumentations, among others. The event was held virtually (streamed live in YouTube) and gathered nearly 1,000 attendees.

Michal, Nitesh and Adina took part in the congress and the latter two presented their most recent findings in form of extended abstracts and posters in the Flood Risk Management session, chaired by Stefan Haun (Stuttgart University in Germany) and Benjamin Dewals (University of Liège in Belgium), and moderated by José M. Carrillo (Polytechnic University of Cartagena in Spain). Both presentations were recorded by the congress organizing committee and are available down below.

Flood Risk Management session (credit: IAHR)

Adina presented an overview of her research, namely “Optimization and visualization of numerical models of flash floods in steep Norwegian rivers“, where she compared the computing effort of High-Performance Computing with the standard computing versions for a small 2D hydrodynamic model based on the 2017 flood in Utvik (Western Norway).

Adina’s presentation (credit: IAHR YouTube)

Michal and Nitesh presented “Coupled hydrodynamic and hydrologic modelling using Telemac-2D” in a different study case in Western Norway. The focus was on testing the effect of modelling short and long term Antecedent Moisture Conditions, mesh size and steep slope correction. The congress proceedings will be available in the e-Library of IAHR.

Nitesh’s presentation (credit: IAHR YouTube)

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River Flow 2020

The 10th International Conference in Fluvial Hydraulics, organized by TU Delft, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Deltares and Rijkswaterstaat (Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Netherlands), together with the International Association for Hydro- Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) and the Netherlands Centre for River Studies (NCR), has been held from the 7th to the 10th of July.

Researchers from water-related disciplines like Hydraulics, Morphodynamics, Ecology and Integral approaches presented their work digitally, and the contents were exceptionally available for the attendees to discuss upon until the 17th of July due to the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. Among the varied topics in fluid mechanics, river monitoring, extreme events and rivers under pressure, few studies focused on optimized numerical modelling techniques, as well as visualization and flood risk communication.

Adina presented the “Current trends in the optimization of hydraulic flood simulations in ungauged steep rivers” in the session “Numerical Modelling – Applications”. Her presentation (available here) summarized few optimization techniques nowadays applied to the the hydraulic analysis of floods and addressed their advantages and limitations when applied to steep rivers where historical hydrologic data is seldom available.

Alongside with the different thematic sessions arranged, young researchers were given the opportunity to present and discuss varied topics in masterclasses arranged by experienced researchers. For instance, Adina participated on the 6th of July in the masterclass “The Digital River”, organized by Enrica Viparelli (University of South Carolina) and Ioana Popescu (IHE Delft).

The Digital River masterclass, held during River Flow 2020 (Photo: E. Viparelli)

The conference program had other highlights, such as an e-social gathering and keynote lectures in “Future generations fighting climate change” (Gabriela Eslava Bejarano, Columbia University, USA), “Rivers Dynamics in Regions of Rapid Climate Change” (Irina Overeem, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA) and “When a tree falls in a river… a cascade process begins” (Virginia Ruiz-Villanueva, University of Lausanne, Switzerland).

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5th Conference on Modelling Hydrology, Climate and Land Surface…

The 5th Conference on Modelling Hydrology, Climate and Land Surface Processes was held 17-19 September 2019 in Lillehammer, Norway. Nitesh attended this conference and presented a poster titled “Choosing an appropriate hydrologic model“. The poster focused on the work to be done before starting the actual hydrologic simulations. The poster briefly reviewed five commonly used hydrological models and described how to choose a suitable hydrologic model for the intended purpose.

A visit to the ski jump tower was also organized in the evening of the last day of the conference.

Visit to the Lysgårdsbakkene Ski Jumping Arena, the city’s major landmark.
Lysgårdsbakken consists of a large hill, with a K-point of 123 and a hill size of 138, and a small hill with a K-point of 90 and a hill size of 100.
View down the large hill
1000 steps to the top of the large hill
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22nd Northern Research Basins conference (Yellowknife, Canada)

The 22nd Northern Research Basins Symposium/Workshop was held in Yellowknife, Canada (by the Great Slave lake, one of the 10 largest fresh water lakes on the planet), from August 18th to August 24th 2019. There, Oddbjørn (project leader) and Adina (work package 2) presented their research regarding hydrology and hydraulics of flash floods in steep rivers.

Oddbjørn’s presentation was titled “Extreme flood in small steep catchments: how extreme can it become?” and covered the complex hydrology around the flood event that affected his hometown, Utvik, exactly two years ago, in July 2017. Also, several recent flood events affecting the southwest of Norway were presented. The take-home message was that these events are more extreme and more recurring than ever as northern regions are suffering a global warming trend. Adina’s presentation, on the other hand, tackled a virtual experiment on “River idealization for identification of critical locations in steep rivers using 2D hydrodynamic modelling and GIS“. This allows correlating hydrologic and topographic parameters to sensitive areas worth focusing on during more detailed studies (such as channel bends) without the interference of case-specific conditions. The study is time and cost-saving oriented, aiming at optimizing flood risk analysis.

A pannel of discussion was organized on the last two days, which led to very enriching and insightful discussion regarding how to better collaborate and achieve synergies among local field knowledge and the scientific community. Attendees were indigenous experts, the scientists presenting during the conference and the local pannelists invited.

The conference agenda included social activities, such as a boat trip to visit the indigenous Dene community nearby, learn about their traditions and how to use natural and forest resources and appreciate what nature has to offer. We got the chance to go on a guided tour around artsy Yellowknife, always accompanied by live fiddle music. Lastly, a banquet was held and a visit to Scotty creek closed the conference on Saturday.

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Coming soon: 22nd NRB conference – Canada

WoWW’s project leader, Oddbjørn Bruland, and Adina will present at the 22nd Northern Research Basins Symposium/Workshop held in Yellowknife, Canada, from August 18th to August 24th.

Oddbjørn’s presentation is titled “How extreme can specific runoff become in steep Norwegian catchments?” and covers the complex hydrology around the flood event that affected his hometown, Utvik, exactly two years ago, in July 2017. This data has been used to simulate the hydraulics and morphodynamics of the affected rivers both in Utvik and the neighbour village, Innvik, in the poster Michal and Oddbjørn presented at EGU in April this year.

Oddbjørn Bruland in Utvik during the flood event of July 2017 (Photo: Hallgeir Vågenes VG)

Adina’s presentation is titled “River idealization for identification of critical locations in steep rivers using 2D hydrodynamic modelling and GIS” and tackles the characterization of any named steep river’s susceptibility to changing conditions, such as extreme rainfalls. The preliminary idealization of scenarios allows to detect parameters and sensitive areas worth focusing on during more detailed studies (such as channel bends) without the interference of case-specific hydrologic and topographic conditions. The study is time and cost-saving oriented, aiming at optimizing flood risk analysis.

Both presentations will take place on the first day of the conference, Monday 18th of August. We will update with anecdotes on this event; stay tuned!