IHP-V: Project 2.3: Interactions between river systems, flood plains and wetlands
The world's freshwater resources are becoming one of the most limiting factors for the development of the human population and the sustainability of the environment. The exponential growth of the human population and its needs creates and amplifies various impacts on freshwater ecosystems. For this reason, new solutions were proposed in 1992 during the Dublin International Conference on Water and Environment. One of the proposed solutions was the integration of hydrological and biological processes in the catchment scale - the Ecohydrology Concept.
As a result, the International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO established an eco-hydrology programme (Theme 2, projects 2.3 and 2.4) as a framework to facilitate a transition to operational procedures aimed at sustainable development and the generation of new ways of thinking among scientists and decision-makers. Over the past two years, the IHP Ecology Programme has become one of the main programmes of IHP-V.
The IHP Bureau nominated a core group to launch the programme. Its first meeting, which took place in Warsaw, Poland from 10-16 October 1996, drew up recommendations and guidelines for managing the programme and decided on potential partners. The meeting resulted in the publication of Technical Document in Hydrology No. 7 which presents the conceptual background, working hypotheses and scientific guidelines.
This kick-off meeting was followed by the First International Symposium on Ecohydrology which took place in Salzburg-Dienten, Austria, in May 1997. It was devoted to the effective launching of the work and the studies to be undertaken to reach the set objectives and to discuss the problems which followed the implementation of the work and studies. During the Salzburg-Dienten Symposium the need to establish field projects became apparent and a Steering Committee was created.
At this stage in the project it was important to take stock of progress and to discuss plans for the future. UNDP joined in the implementation phase and a joint UNESCO/UNDP Workshop on Ecohydrology took place in Lodz, Poland, from 20-24 May 1998, to evaluate progress made during the ecological studies, as well as the presentation and discussion of new activities and progress made by the authors of the chapters for the foreseen publication on ecohydrology.
The Lodz Workshop
During the Opening Ceremony, after the presentation of the Ecohydrology Programme Rationale by Professor Maciej Zalewski, chairman of the Steering Committee, two opening lectures were presented:
The Workshop was composed of five sessions as follows:
From 24-25 May 1998, a technical excursion to the field station of the Centre for Ecological Studies, University of Lodz and Vistula River Floodplain, was organised and ecological methods were demonstrated.
To spread the idea of ecohydrology it has been proposed that the Steering Committee members should participate in:
Further information on the Ecohydrology Programme can be obtained from:
Professor Maciej Zalewski
IHP-V: Project 2.1: Vegetation, land use and erosion processes
A symposium on Erosion and Sediment Yield: Global and Regional Perspectives was organised jointly by IAHS and UNESCO at Exeter University, UK, in July 1996. Erosion and sediment transport modelling were considered priority activities for understanding and describing the complex processes that characterise these two phenomena that present physical, as well as environmental and economic aspects.
As a follow-up IAHS's Continental Erosion Commission organised, from 13 to 17 July 1998, in Vienna, Austria, an International symposium on modelling soil erosion, sediment transport and closely related hydrological processes.
The symposium focused on different view points of understanding and describing soil erosion and sediment transport as an integrated part of various watershed processes. It focused on recent modelling techniques, methodologies and their advances, ranging from the empirical grey-box type to the stochastic approach as well as physically-based modelling. Selected papers examined techniques and methodologies used in soil erosion and non-point source pollution prediction as well as in sediment transport in river systems with and without impoundment with respect but not limited to :
More than 70 papers were presented on the following themes:
1. Soil Erosion Topics
2. Topics related to the particle transport in land-draining river networks
Information regarding the IAHS/UNESCO Modelling Symposium may be obtained from:
Nutrient and Contaminant Transfer
In the framework of the UNESCO IHP-V project 2.1 an International Symposium on the Role of Erosion and Sediment Transport in Nutrient and Contaminant Transfer will be organised by IAHS and UNESCO in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, from 10-14 July 2000.
Sediment, erosion and transport processes play a major role in nutrient and contaminant transfer from terrestrial to aquatic systems. On a global scale, there is concern for the conveyance of sediment-associated nutrients and contaminants across eroding land surfaces and into receiving waters. According to the nature of the erosion process, the sediment sources involved and the relative importance of delivery, conveyance and in-stream processes, the rates and magnitude of nutrient and contaminant transfer will vary in space and time. However, there is a lack of knowledge regarding spatial and temporal variation of sediment sources, properties and related transport processes. Such information is required to fully understand and model the source, transport and fate of sediment-associated contaminants for management purposes.
The symposium will concentrate on the transfer of sediment-associated nutrients and contaminants in terrestrial and aquatic systems. Emphasis should be given to studies of the basic processes of erosion and sediment transport that will advance our understanding of chemical transport at a range of spatial and temporal scales. Topics to be covered include:
Scientific Contributions, Publication and Poster Session
Participants wishing to contribute a paper should submit an abstract in English (maximum 250 words) to the Organising Committee no later than 15 May 1999. Authors of accepted papers will be notified by 15 June 1999. Full papers will be required no later than 1 October 1999. The symposium proceedings will contain all orally presented papers which will be pre-published as an IAHS 'red book'. Poster presentations will not be included in the symposium proceedings.
For further information, please contact:
Dr. M. Stone