ICWRER History
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History of the International Conferences on Water Resources and Environment Research (ICWRER)*
The sequence of International Conferences on Water Resources and Environment Research (ICWRER) listed in Table 1 was initiated to honour the late Professor T.E. Unny, from the Department of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo, for his life-long accomplishments in hydrology, hydraulics, and other water-related areas. As can be seen in the table, the first conference, which was held at the University of Waterloo from June 21st to 23rd, 1993, to celebrate the life of Professor Unny, focused on stochastic and statistical techniques in hydrology and environmental engineering. Starting at the 1996 conference, which took place in Kyoto, Japan, in recognition of the career achievements of Professor T. Takasao from the Department of Civil Engineering at Kyoto University for his pioneering work in hydraulics and water management, the scope of the conference was enlarged and the name ICWRER was officially adopted to reflect this expansion. These conferences have been located in four nations: Canada (1993, 2010), Japan (1996, 2016), Australia (1999, 2008) and Germany (2002, 2013). As indicated in the bottom row of Table 1, the ICWRER 2019 conference will take place in a fifth country: China.

As shown in the left column of Table 1, some of these meetings were planned and executed in conjunction with other organizations, as was done in 1999, 2008 and 2010. When more than one organization hosted a given conference, all of the sessions were mixed together in a seamless fashion according to specific topics, which brought all attendees together under one academic roof. None of these conferences would have been possible without the hard and dedicated work of many individuals, some of whose names appear in the right column of Table 1. Indeed, the contributions from these and many other people connected to these immensely successful conferences are highly appreciated. The attendance at all of these conferences was high, and at ICWRER 2010 (also referred to as Water 2010), for example, about 400 people from more than 40 countries registered in order to present their novel research ideas and to find out about exciting work in water and the environment taking place around the world.

At Water 2010, a new initiative was started by presenting Lifetime Achievement Awards to three highly regarded international researchers at the conference banquet: T. Kojiri (from Kyoto University, Japan, who died in late 2011), K.W. Hipel (University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) and B. Bobée (L’Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS), Le Centre Eau Terre Environnement (ETE), Québec, Canada). At ICWRER 2013 in Koblenz, Professor G.H. Schmitz (Technical University of Dresden) and Professor Graeme Dandy (University of Adelaide) were presented Lifetime Achievement Awards while Professor T. Ikebuchi received the same award at ICWRER 2016.

At each of the meetings, conference proceedings and an agenda were supplied. Moreover, additional publications were also published in some cases. For instance, after the 1993 Waterloo conference, four edited books containing fully refereed papers from the conference were published by Kluwer (Dordrecht, The Netherlands) on the following topics in 1994: “Extreme Values: Floods and Droughts” (K.W. Hipel), “Stochastic and Statistical Modelling with Groundwater and Surface Water Applications” (K.W. Hipel), “Time Series Analysis in Hydrology and Environmental Engineering” (K.W. Hipel, A.I. McLeod, U.S. Panu and V.P. Singh), and “Effective Environmental Management for Sustainable Development” (K.W. Hipel and L. Fang). Additionally, a special issue of the journal “Stochastic Hydrology and Hydraulics”, which is now called “Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment”, was published in 1995 based on papers presented at the 1993 Waterloo conference. Finally, a student scholarship named in honour of Professor T. E. Unny was launched at the University of Waterloo in 1993.

One of the objectives of ICWRER is to bring together physical and societal systems expertise from around the globe in order to better understand natural systems related to water resources and the environment. The topics of ICWRER are broad and cover areas such as geographical information systems and remote sensing, stochastic hydrology, sustainable water management, surface water and groundwater interaction, ecosystem modelling, conflict resolution, scaling problems in hydrology and water resources, environmental management, risk analysis and climate change.

In the current changing environment, water resources modeling and management are becoming increasingly important and challenging. How to deal with the changing frequency and magnitude of droughts and floods or how to ensure access to potable water are only some examples of difficulties that several countries are now facing. In this context, the first two decades of the century is a starting point for the decades to come in which hydrologists and water resources engineers will play an increasingly important role in society.

Keith W. Hipel

Founder of ICWRER and Chair of ICWRER Steering Committee

*Based on an article which appeared as an appendix in the paper by Hipel et al. (2013).
References
1. Hipel, K.W., Fang, L., Ouarda, T.B.M.J., and Bristow, M., “An Introduction to the Special Issue on Tackling Challenging Water Resources Problems in Canada: A Systems Approach”, Canadian Water Resources Journal, Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 3-11, 2013.
2. Hipel, K.W. (Editor), "Stochastic and Statistical Methods in Hydrology and Environmental Engineering, Volume 1 – Extreme Values: Floods and Droughts", Kluwer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 389 pp., ISBN: 0-7923-2756-X (Vol. 1), ISBN: 0-7923-2760-8 (Set of 4 Volumes), 1994.
3. Hipel, K.W. (Editor), "Stochastic and Statistical Methods in Hydrology and Environmental Engineering, Volume 2 – Stochastic and Statistical Modelling with Groundwater and Surface Water Applications", Kluwer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 372 pp., ISBN: 0-7923-2757-8 (Vol. 2), ISBN: 0-7923-2760-8 (Set of 4 Volumes), 1994.
4. Hipel, K.W., McLeod, A.I., Panu, U.S. and Singh, V.P. (Editors), "Stochastic and Statistical Methods in Hydrology and Environmental Engineering, Volume 3 – Time Series Analysis in Hydrology and Environmental Engineering", Kluwer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 474 pp., ISBN: 0-7923-2758-6 (Vol. 3), ISBN: 0-7923-2760-8 (Set of 4 Volumes), 1994.
5. Hipel, K.W. and Fang, L. (Editors), "Stochastic and Statistical Methods in Hydrology and Environmental Engineering, Volume 4 – Effective Environmental Management for Sustainable Development", Kluwer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 460 pp., ISBN: 0-7923-2759-8 (Vol. 4), ISBN: 0-7923-2760-8 (Set of 4 Volumes), 1994.
Table 1. International Conferences on Water Resources and Environment Research (ICWRER)