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Special Session at 38th IAHR World Congress // Sustainable Water Storage to Meet Water, Food, and Energy Development Goals

Storage to stabilize water availability is essential to sustain water, food and energy production, reduce hazards, and adapt to climate change. Regulation of water resources using dams and reservoirs played a major role in the socio-economic development of northern countries during the 20th century, but practices of the time often led to undesired environmental and social impacts. Thousands more dams and reservoirs are planned for construction in the next decades, mainly in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and there is a threat that many of the unwanted impacts experienced in the last century may be repeated in this new wave of dam construction, perhaps with even more severe consequences.

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/normlanier/15491590756/in/photolist-pAWsdm-a2xQ73-dx9wwV-KFGnN-9sxB2M-DHj1an-UdbqtH-4Av7uq-5zFSKB-4gdLMi-QP8TZq-9qCZoH-U3bLzN-C6wUDL-dpBjc4-5mYDp2-mVkY2r-eNPFkA-2vmN3-6f6LQx-mVmxzE-6RWpRe-8XMSpd-53iq13-29GLGFJ-21Bg5AJ-NmADC6-3kjhwj-Wm94JX-8jxr8Y-25QdbZE-4KLeZX-b984A-6gQ8V8-62VTK-24x84wr-28K4aoj-93GUFk-edz39-VGgeLE-DLGesU-8Ejrxq-eKbvtm-22cAFbw-4JaGMt-nbMpj9-WTiwKP-4iQLLp-6EhTRN-mVjWcZ (C) Norm Lanier / flickr

A thorough analysis and debate of the approaches to sustainable multipurpose storage, including definition of environmental flows, sedimentary management, ecology continuity, socio-economic adaptation, among others, is needed. Targeted development outcomes include improved catchment management for water, food, and energy security that is socially and environmentally sustainable and contributes directly to Agenda 2030. In response to this global development challenge, we propose a session to bring together the community of engineers, scholars and scientists, which form a common platform with interest on the planning and design of dams and reservoirs and on the evaluation and mitigation of their undesirable effects. We intend to see discussed improved approaches to sustainable multipurpose storage including decision-support tools that have the potential to make a measurable impact on sustainable development. Specific outputs such as consolidated or under development improved decision support tools for basin-scale planning of new storage infrastructure, and tools for improved design and operation of individual facilities, are welcome.

This session is promoted in the framework of a thematic research program on Sustainable Hydropower and Multipurpose Storage to meet Water, Food, and Energy Development Goals: A Program for Collaborative Research and Innovation (S-MultiStor), supported by the Programmatic Cooperation between the Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IHE Delft in the period 2016 – 2020, also called DUPC2. The activities are focused in the Irrawaddy Basin of Myanmar, Zambezi Basin of Southern Africa, and Magdalena Basin of Colombia.


  • Mário Franca (IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Netherlands)
  • Gretchen Gettel (IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Netherlands)
  • Zaw Lwin Tu (Irrigation Department, Myanmar)
  • Gérman Ricardo Santos Granados (Escuela Colombiana de Ingeniería Julio Garavito, Colombia)
  • Clemêncio Nhamtumbo (Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique)
  • Miroslav Marence (IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Netherlands)

Where and when

Panama City

1-6 Sep 2019

About IAHR

International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR)

The International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR), founded in 1935, is a worldwide independent organisation of engineers and water specialists working in fields related to the hydro-environmental sciences and their practical application. Activities range from river and maritime hydraulics to water resources development and eco-hydraulics, through to ice engineering, hydro-informatics and continuing education and training. IAHR stimulates and promotes both research and it’s application and by doing so it strives to contribute to sustainable development, the optimisation of world water resources management and industrial flow processes.

IAHR accomplishes its goals by a wide variety of member activities including working groups, research agenda, congresses, specialty conferences, workshops and short courses; journals, monographs and proceedings; by involvement in international programs such as UNESCO, WMO, IDNDR, GWP, ICSU and by co-operation with other water-related international organizations.

Source: congress website

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