Unesco ihe - UPDATE January-2010


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Unesco ihe - UPDATE January-2010

  1. 1. magazine unesco-iheinstitute for water educationdecember 2009 – january 2010 Spotlight TheWaterChannel.tv Interview Professor András Szöllösi-Nagy Education 100th PhD degree Resources Poo UPDATE UNESCO-IHE | DEC 2009 – JAN 2010 | 1
  2. 2. COLOPHON contentsEditorial BoardAndrás Szöllösi-NagyJoop de SchutterErwin PloegerEditorial CommitteeJan Herman KosterAnn van GriensvenHenk LubberdingMarco Schouten SPOTLIGHT 4 TheWaterChannel.tvLindsay Beevers COOPERATION 5 Guiding US investments in waterEditor in ChiefAlida Pham COLUMN 7 BiofuelsSub-editorTheresa Stanton INTERVIEWS 8 András Szöllösi-NagyGraphic DesignPeter Stroo 16 Annemieke NijhofPrintPrints & Proms/Rotterdam 19 Iris Frida Josch de KosakEditorial Contributions HIGHLIGHT 21 St Maarten flood risksBerta Fernández Álvarez, Cecilia Tamara Avellán, Jan Bartacek,Maarten Blokland, Anne van Dam, Larry Elchuck, Abraham MehariHaile, Erick de Jong, Lenneke Knoop, Ewoud Kok, Laura Kwak, EDUCATION 12 100th PhD degreePieter de Laat, Piet Lens, Branislav Petrusevski, Christina Reed,Bart Schultz, Maria Sorrentino, Klaas Schwartz, Assiyeh Tabatabai,Stefan Uhlenbrook, Raymond Venneker, Zoran Vojinovic. ALUMNI 18 Refresher Seminar KenyaWith special thanks to Richard A. Meganck, former Rector ofUNESCO-IHE. BACKGROUND 24 A pinch of saltAbout the magazine E-LEARNING 28 New eCampusUNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education produces a biennial mag-azine called UPDATE. We print 12,000 free copies per issue, whichis sent to our counterparts across the world. UPDATE features institu- CAPACITY BUILDING 29 Irantional information related to water education, research and capacitybuilding activities undertaken by UNESCO-IHE, alumni and partners. RESOURCES 30 Online Water ResourcesWe have tried to make this issue of UPDATE Magazine as eco-friendlyas possible. The paper, Cocoon Offset, is a high-quality uncoated off-set paper. The range is produced using ecological technology at the 32 Publicationscompany’s Greenfield S.A.S. mill in France from 100%-recycled andFSC-certified de-inked pulp. The plastic that is used to cover UPDATEMagazine is made of environmentally biodegradable polymers by thecompany A.V.I. B.V. in Volendam, the Netherlands.About UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water EducationUNESCO-IHE is the largest international postgraduate water educa-tion institute in the world and the only institution in the UN systemauthorised to confer accredited MSc degrees and promote PhDs. Themission of UNESCO-IHE is to contribute to the education and train-ing of professionals and to build the capacity of sector organisations,knowledge centres and other institutions active in the fields of water,the environment and infrastructure, in developing countries and coun-tries in transition. Since 1957, the Institute has provided postgradu-ate education to over 14,500 water professionals from 162 coun-tries, the vast majority from the developing world. Currently over 80candidates are registered PhD fellows, and numerous research andcapacity building projects are carried out throughout the world.Published by UNESCO-IHEPO Box 30152601 DA DelftThe NetherlandsT +31 15 215 1715F +31 15 212 2921E info@unesco-ihe.orgI www.unesco-ihe.orgIn UPDATE there is freedom of expression and opinion. Opinions needto be expressed complete and clear content wise. It should also beclear whose opinion the article represents. The Editorial Committeereserves the right to refrain from publishing articles, editorial contri-butions and letters to the editor or to publish them in consultation withthe author. Rajasthan’s rural revolution The Editorial Committee encourages editorial contributions from Rajasthan, India - Women working on a rainwa-readers. The Column, Op-Ed, and Report from the Field sections areintended to provide a platform for such contributions. Please note that ter harvesting project near the village of Paladieditorial sections are subject to change. Bhopatan. The women work digging channels for underground aquafers to direct water if/UPDATE Magazine is interested in hearing more from the insti- when it rains. The area has been suffering fromtute’s alumni, especially about the projects they are currently a severe drought for the last eight years.working on and the organisations they are attached to. Pleasesend your updates to the editor, Alida Pham at: a.pham@unesco- Photo: Panos/Robert Wallisihe.org.2 | UPDATE UNESCO-IHE | DEC 2009 – JAN 2010
  3. 3. 124TheWaterChannel.tv 100th PhD degree 8 30 Poo András Szöllösi-NagyEditorial Welcome to the first issue of UPDATE Magazine, the We hope to have sufficiently shared with you thatAdapting to Changes first 32-page magazine produced by UNESCO-IHE this new design was driven by editorial concerns, to keep you up-to-date with institutional informa- not by design alone. The Magazine now provides an tion related to water education, research and capacity increased opportunity to share with you the institu- building activities undertaken by UNESCO-IHE and tional developments, thoughts and announcements its alumni and partners. by the board and management, news from alumni “Redesigning a magazine and moving its informa- and partners and our perspectives on emerging is- tion and ideas into a new form feels like building a sues in the water and development sector. Beyond new home and moving,” was said by Mark Winz in this, we aim to encourage global discussions on water Folio, the Magazine for Magazine Management. Loyal issues through relevant opinion pieces, provide in- readers are familiar with former editions of UPDATE spiration, encourage public spirit amongst UNESCO- that previously appeared in a newsletter format. The IHE counterparts and offer an UPDATE where one reason we chose to redesign UPDATE, starting with can read about water issues from a different perspec- this December 2009 issue, is to commemorate and tive, thereby maintaining a vast and expanding net- celebrate a series of events: the arrival of our new work in the international water sector and beyond. Rector, Professor András Szöllösi-Nagy, the celebra- We very much welcome your input and hope you tion of our 100th PhD degree to be awarded in 2010 enjoy reading this issue. and a change in editorship among many other rea- sons. On behalf of the Editorial Committee, Alida Pham Editor in Chief UPDATE UNESCO-IHE | DEC 2009 – JAN 2010 | 3
  4. 4. spotlight | TheWaterChannel.tv www.thewaterchannel.tv is an online video channel on water. Launched in early June, the website received over 20,000 views in November alone, counting around 380 videos rang- ing from instructional videos to Public Service Announcements from various sources. The footage is presented in different categories, including climate change, agriculture and sani- tation & hygiene, among others. The website caters to a large audience, including educa- tors, policy makers, high-school and university students, media professionals, companies and organisations with an interest or active involvement in water issues. TheWaterChannel is a collaboration between MetaMeta, UNESCO-IHE, Cap-Net and Nymphaea. TheWaTerChannel.Tv makes a wide range of video material available for a large public to create awareness and encourage de- bate. To this end, TheWaterChannel.tv team seeks various initiatives with other organisations. Recently, a DVD with a collection of videos from TheWaterChannel.tv was produced for educational purposes to be used in the project: ‘Strengthening Ethiopian Universities in TheWaterChannel.tv Integrated River Basin Management Programme’ commissioned by takes you on a multi- the Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher media tour around Education (NUFFIC). Possibilities to further develop such thematic the world of water DVD productions for other organisations is currently being explored. Theme siTes Currently online is the www.thewaterandclimate- channel.org, a theme site developed as part of TheWaterChannel. tv. The site shows the vital links between water and climate change through videos and documents. In addition, the Arab Water Council and TheWaterChannel.tv developed the thematic site ‘TheArabWaterChannel’. This online resource is meant to be a window on water in the 22 countries that make up the Arab World. It aims to support education and awareness raising activities on all levels with re- December Statistics gard to water management in the region. 410 uploaded videos 24 categories heTWaTerK anaal , is a Dutch spinoff of TheWaterChannel.tv 500 registered members and is a Dutch interactive platform for videos on water related topics in 21,000 visitors (of whom over and about The Netherlands. This Dutch version of the concept was de- 10,000 unique visitors) veloped in cooperation with TheWaterChannel.tv and will be launched Most visits from: Mexico, The Netherlands, through the website in the coming month. TheWaterChannel team United States, India and Canada encourages readers of UPDATE Magazine to upload quality visual ma- terial on water related topics to ensure it finds an audience. As a special service, VHS tapes can be sent in for digitalisation and uploading. ¡ thewaterchannel@metameta.nl W www.thewaterchannel.tv and subscribe to the newsletter.SHORT NEWS | Waterpass Foundation SHORT NEWS | Changes PAST EVENTS | UN KSIMmou waterpass board members unesco-ihe hosts unfoundation IHE Delft Foundation Board Wim Deetman, former Minister of Education and Science was appointed UNESCO-IHE Foundation Board libraries meeting n ServicesUNESCO-IHE signed an MoU with the member. Wim Kuijken, Secretary-General of Ministry of Transport, The UNESCO-IHE Library and Informatio AgencyWaterpass Foundation. This foundation Public Works and Water Management, was appointed UNESCO-IHE hosted the annual United Nations Inter- mationwas newly established by Jan Stuit, the Foundation Board member. Bert Keijts, former Director General Meeting on Knowledge Sharing and Inforformer Chair of the Royal Bank of Scotland of the Directorate Public Works and Water in the Netherlands, Management (UNK SIM) at the end of September. UN agen-in the Netherlands, with the aim to sponsor recently retired as member of the IHE Delft Foundation Board. Around 40 Participants from various developUNESCO-IHE MSc fellowship extensions cies attended the meeting to build and ammes.to allow excellent UNESCO-IHE students Governing Board The UNESCO-IHE Governing Board comprises Know ledge Management networks and progrto write a publication or develop a business a total number of 13 representatives of ministries, universities and Among other topics, special attention was given to rty issues.proposal (i.e. for use in their home coun- the private sector, all appointed by the Director General of UNESCO. the development of intellectual propetries). The foundation pledged an initial Annika Söder, Assistant Director-General of the Food and Agricultural€23,000 and will raise more funds. Organization (FAO) was appointed UNESCO-IHE Governing Board ¡ Patricia Darvis, p.darvis@unesco-ihe.org member in July 2009. John Verbakel, Vice president R&D Europe at Unilever also joined UNESCO-IHE’s Governing Board since July 2009.4 | UPDATE UNESCO-IHE | DEC 2009 – JAN 2010
  5. 5. cooperation | USAIDGuiding US Investments in WaterUNESCO-IHE recently initi- articulated in international agree- The Global Water for Sustainability (GLOWS) programme is a consortium financed by theated advisory and capacity-build- ments and guidance documents, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) working to increase social,ing activities directed at staff of few possess a detailed knowl- economic, and environmental benefits to people of the developing world. GLOWS works on-the-ground to implement water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services,the US Agency for International edge of the many resources in the improve water management practices, and build local capacity.Development (USAID). UNESCO- IWRM toolbox and how to apply The GLOWS Consortium is led by Florida International University and includes CARE,IHE is contributing to the devel- them,” he explains. “Practitioners WaterAid America, Winrock International, World Vision, and the World Wildlife Fundopment of a USAID Water Guide must be able to evaluate their own (WWF). Together the partners possess skills and worldwide experience in water supply/to assist agency project officers management goals in an IWRM sanitation/hygiene, water productivity, and water resources management. UNESCO-IHEin water project design and im- framework and then design a step- is a training partner within the consortium. GLOWS is the freshwater component of USAID’s Global Programme for Integratedplementation around the world. wise strategy to accomplish these Management of Coastal and Freshwater Systems (IMCAFS), which also featuresThese activities are an outgrowth goals. the Sustainable Coastal Communities and Ecosystems (SUCCESS) programme.of UNESCO-IHE’s involvement The training modules that SUCCESS emphasises coastal resources, aquaculture, and fisheries management,as a partner in the USAID Global GLOWS and UNESCO-IHE is under the leadership of the University of Rhode Island’s Coastal Resources Center.Water for Sustainability (GLOWS) jointly developing will be custom-consortium, which is lead by ised for USAID project officers,Florida International University who are tasked with programmingin Miami. In addition to its role an increasing water budget withinin the development of the Water the agency.Guide, UNESCO-IHE is develop- Dr. Sharon Murray, Watering training modules for USAID Resources Programme Manageron Integrated Water Resources on the USAID Water Team, based GLOWS Project SitesManagement and Climate Change in Washington DC, visited theAdaptation and assisting in a Institute in June to learn more Mara River Basin (Kenya/Tanzania) During the dry season, the Mara River is theUSAID-funded Public-Private about UNESCO-IHE programmes only source of water to the Mara-Serengeti ecoregion and its spectacular migration of wildlife. GLOWS is supporting the governments of Kenya and Tanzania in integratedPartnership Iniciative in collabo- and activities. She also briefed vari- water resources management to meet the water needs of developing human communitiesration with the Confederation of ous departments about the work while protecting water needed for Masai-Mara National Reserve and Serengeti NationalIndian Industries, USAID funding that USAID is doing and new US Park. Project activities extend to Lake Victoria, and its artisanal fishing communities.is also providing partial support investments in water develop- Pastaza River Basin (Ecuador/Peru) The Pastaza River Basin drains anfor the thesis projects of three MSc ment. “Encouraging people in Andean subcatchment of the larger Amazon River Basin, in one of the world’sstudents working in East Africa. USAID through supporting higher most biologically and culturally diverse regions. The lives and livelihoods of ba- Dr. Michael McClain, Director education in developing countries, sin residents are intimately linked to the ecosystem services provided by rivers,of GLOWS and Head of the resources and programmes that especially water supply, wastewater assimilation, and fisheries. GLOWS is work-Water Engineering Department exist is very important. Also, I can ing with government agencies and local communities to protect freshwater eco- system services and promote integrated management of water resources.at UNESCO-IHE explains that imagine that linkages with US uni-the lack of capacity and practi- versities in capacity building and Wakal River Basin (India) A semi-arid, extremely seasonal climate charac-cal training are major obstacles to development will be established as terises the Wakal River Basin in southern Rajasthan state, India. Groundwater resources help sustain human communities in the basin, as do centuries-old rain-the application of IWRM in many one of the results of this partner- water harvesting techniques that facilitate storage of rainwater for use during dryareas of the world. “ While many ship. There are parallel efforts in periods. GLOWS is supporting local efforts to increase awareness of integratedinstitutions and practitioners have mutually supporting each other in water resources management as a means for promoting sustainable use of ground-a general knowledge of IWRM as the water sector,” Murray said. water and appropriate implementation of rainwater harvesting techniques.UNESCO CENTRES | ICIWaRMfirst unesco category 2 centre on aegis of UNESCO, around half of which are in the field of freshwater. “Promoting more sustainable freshwater management has been a top priority of my tenure at UNESCO. Thefreshwater in the us creation of this new centre will significantly bolster our implementing capacity in this area”, Mr Matsuura underlined, stating that the new centre would notably increase support to de- veloping countries, especially in Africa.On Thursday 29 October 2009, the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, Major General Don T. Riley congratulated Mr Matsuura on his remarkable achievementssigned with Major General Don T. Riley, Deputy Commanding General of the United at UNESCO. “You can leave knowing that you have made a very big difference to the livesStates Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), an agreement establishing the UNESCO of millions. And with the creation of this new centre, UNESCO will go on to help millionsInternational Centre for Integrated Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM) in more”, the Major General affirmed.Alexandria, Virginia. Dr Robert Pietrowsky underscored the importance the US attached to UNESCO’s workAlso present at the signing ceremony was Dr Robert Pietrowsky, Director of the USACE in freshwater, noting that collaboration in this area had significantly expanded followingInstitute of Water Resources and member of the UNESCO-IHE Governing Board, and Dr the country’s return to the Organisation in 2003. He referred to the new centre as an op-Eugene Z. Stakhiv, Technical Director of UNESCO-ICIWaRM. portunity to further reinforce this partnership, explaining that good relations had already “Today, we establish the first category 2 centre in the US. It is a very important moment. been established between ICIWaRM and other UNESCO category 2 centres, as well asFor UNESCO to expand its freshwater programme we need the involvement of the US UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education. The Director-General said that this outreachscience community – we need its expertise, its creativity and its entrepreneurship,” the was “a very good indicator of the centre’s future success”, adding that he very much lookedDirector-General said on signing the agreement. He went on to explain that ICIWaRM forward to hearing of ICIWaRM’s achievements.would join a powerful global network of over 40 category 2 centres operating under the W www.iwr.usace.army.mil/iciwarm UPDATE UNESCO-IHE | DEC 2009 – JAN 2010 | 5
  6. 6. FELLOWSHIPS | IWA/UNESCO-IHE congress | Biological Wastegas Treatmentwater supply and sanitationfellowships launchedIWA President Dr David Garman and Professor Damir Brdjanovic ofUNESCO-IHE signed an agreement on IWA/UNESCO-IHE WaterSupply and Sanitation Fellowships at the first International WaterAssociation (IWA) Development Congress, held in Mexico City from15 till 19 November 2009. The agreement is an important milestonein the cooperation between IWA and UNESCO-IHE. Dr Garman invitedpotential donors to contribute to the fund and set up a target of 50 fel-lowships for the next two years. Fellowships will be divided between thethree water supply and sanitation related specialisations at UNESCO-IHE, namely Sanitary Engineering, Water Supply Engineering and WaterServices Management.W www.iwahq.org¡ Damir Brdjanovic, d.brdjanovic@unesco-ihe.orgAWARD | Keizo Obuchiuruguayan wins fellowship án from Uruguay with a KeizoUNESCO awarded Cecilia Tamara AvellObuchi fellowship in 2008. Avell án recently used this fellowship to carry d wetlands for use in Uruguayanout research at UNESCO-IHE in constructe ved annually bydairy farm waste waters. The research fellowship is recei20 candidates worldwide to facilia te the exchange of scientific expertise. mic role in Uruguay and a trend“The dairy sector plays an important econo in the pastis noticeable wher eby milk production has notably increased thedecade. Drastic changes in land use, such as increased herd sizes and hand-in-hand with the uncontrolled implementation of artificial pastures go Also, increased irrigation activities use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. have Biotechniques for as well as the lack of prope r sewage disposal systems of dairy farms ic environments,” Avellán explains. provoked severe deteriorations of aquat uyan native plants (Juncus She therefore studied the abilities of Urug ructed acutus & Cortedeira selloi ana) vs. plants traditionally used in const wetlands in Europe and the US (Phra gmites australis & Typha latifolia) to r the COD and nutrient levels in the release oxygen into the water and lowe well in this artificial waste wate r. Uruguayan plant species performed very short-term experiment increasing the oxygen concentration in the artificial r rates than the traditionally used sewage water more rapidly and to highe in natural treatment plants. This open s up the prospect of using these plants . systems and constructed wetla nds to treat the effluents of dairy farms The 3rd International Congress on Biotechniques for Air Pollution Control was held at UNESCO-IHE end September. Over 110 participants from universities andNEWS | Capacity building in Addis Ababa industries discussed various innovative research aspects of environmental chemistry, environmental engineer- ing and bioprocess technology aimed at improving waste gas treatment. The Congress was co-organised by UNESCO-IHE and the Environmental Engineering group of the University of La Coruña in Spain.The city of Addis Ababa faces a number of challenges due to the vast ex-pansion of the city, such as limited water resources and adequate prac-tices in managing them. The Addis Ababa Water Supply and SewerageAuthority (AAWSA) is trying to achieve its mission of good service de-livery to its customers in the midst of these challenges. A recent tailor-made training course conducted by UNESCO-IHE pro-vided 23 AAWSA employees, from middle to senior level, with a newskill-set to tackle water supply and sanitation issues. The training coursewas held in collaboration with local partners Solomon Sisay in Ethiopiaand the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) in Uganda. The AAWSA has already been able to implement its newly acquiredknowledge during a critical assessment which it made of a newly de-signed plan for waste-water treatment. In addition, AAWSA recentlyrecruited a number of junior engineers in response to the huge expecta-tions from its customers and to help it cope with the daunting challengesahead. During part of the training programme in Ethiopia, opportunities Please see the website for presentation downloads:were created to include a short training course for the junior engineers. http://www.unesco-ihe.org/Biotechniques-for-Air-Pollution-Control Based on the huge demand for water and sanitation professionals in Copies of the proceedings will be available through the Taylor and Francisthe country, discussions are already underway concerning collaboration UNESCO-IHE series.with Addis Ababa University to strengthen its postgraduate studies. ¡ Piet Lens, p.lens@unesco-ihe.org ¡ Kebreab Ghebremichael, k.ghebremichael@unesco-ihe.org6 | UPDATE UNESCO-IHE | DEC 2009 – JAN 2010
  7. 7. Economic and public pressure Becoming self-sufficient Recovering useful by-products COLUMN | Biofuels In recent years, energy and feed- Consequently, waste gas treat- Sustainable gas treatment con- stock materials for the chemical ment has gradually been integrat- cepts are being developed and A greener planet industry are in increasing demand. ed into process design. Instead can lead to the recovery of useful With constraints relating to the of discharging their waste gases by-products such as energy in the requires a lot of water… availability and use of oil, the into the atmosphere, industries form of biogas, hydrogen or elec- energy and chemical industry is can opt to treat those effluents or, tricity, and chemicals in the form undergoing considerable changes. alternatively, they can attempt to of fertilisers (ammonia, phos- Biomass derived energy is a promising renewable The need to use cheaper and more become self-sufficient and recover phates) or raw materials (elemen- energy sources intended to satisfy the escalating global widely available feedstocks and to compounds from their own waste tal sulphur, sulphuric acid) among energy demand and to limit greenhouse gas emis- develop sustainable and environ- streams or use (upgraded) waste others. Adding value to waste sions. The advantages seem manifold: (i) security of mentally-friendly chemical proc- streams of neighbouring indus- gas by upgrading the recovered supply (renewable energy; can be produced locally), esses is rapidly growing as a result tries as raw material. compounds will only be a reality (ii) usually lower net greenhouse gas emissions, (iii) of economic and public pressure. if it is demonstrated that there is a clean in respect to other emissions (sulfur, carbon fundamental basis and a tangible monoxide and particulates), (iv) well-suited for advantage in using these recov- transport uses, (v) less dependency on fossil fuel ered compounds instead of buying from politically unstable regions, and (vi) support for raw materials and feedstock. agriculture, in particular in many developing countries. The International Energy Association (IEA) estimated that in 2004 more than 13% of the total global energy consumption came from renewable source, and I fully agree that it is the right policy to increase this number further in the years to come. Also a rapid increase in the biomass derived energy is envisaged for the future, in particular considering the recent discussions on carbon trading and the preparations for the crucial Cimate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009. This is still true even if large energy consumers like the EU and USA are reconsidering their own biofuels poli- cies, which were more pro-biofuel only two years ago.Air Pollution Control The opportunities for farmers and forest owners in the South to become energy farmers and “good guys” in terms of climate change mitigation seem very promis- ing! This is especially true because energy efficient production of biofuels is best possible in sub-humid and humid tropical regions, due to often suitable climate and soils. Consequently, biomass production offers great economic chances for developing countries located in these regions. But there is also a downside, which make some people speak of ‘Climate Colonialism’. They pointMain Outcomes The Congress demonstrated that a growing number of young scien- at the recent land grabbing in Africa and Latin America,tists is becoming interested in the field of biological waste gas treatment. Moreover, scientific often through foreign companies and fuelled by lucrativegroups as well as engineering companies from all over the world were present at the Congress. Northern subsidy schemes, which results in large mo-Participants from 28 countries representing all continents (except Antarctica) came to Delft, nocultures in countries such as Ethiopia, Mozambique,indicating that air pollution control has become a widespread concern with a global impact. Peru and Tanzania. This has potentially huge impacts on During the Congress, special attention was given to resource recovery. A lot of space was food security, but also on water and the environmentalavailable to showcase new developments in the field of biological waste gas treatment. The integrity. The availability of water resources is key inmajority of research presented focused primarily on engineering perspectives. Microbiology that respect. I would like to stress that there are manyand modelling were also addressed, but more attention could have been given to research in unknowns in predicting the impacts of such land use changes and a better understanding of the impacts onthese areas. the hydrological processes (i.e. evaporation fluxes, run- off generation mechanism, groundwater recharge) forLegislation alone is insufficient It was noted that legislation in the field of waste gas such interventions is definitely needed. Therefore, con-emission was not sufficient. This may hinder the development of new technologies, because sidering different temporal and spatial scales is essential.the polluting companies are not pushed to invest in waste gas treatment. This becomes evenmore difficult in the case of diffuse and transboundary emissions. Despite the many knowledge gaps, we know already Another outcome of the Congress was that the problem of waste gas production is often that forests (e.g. eucalyptus) and crops (e.g. sugarclosely related to waste water production or waste water treatment. These two problems cane) need a lot of water to grow, and an accurateshould be studied in combination with each other more often. The Dutch engineering consul- analysis of the environmental and societal impacts oftancy company DHV, with their Moving Bed Trickling Filter, may serve as a good example of large-scale biomass production is essential to protectthis trend. water resources and to assure ecological integrity to enable future sustainable development. Thus, water isMore interaction needed The biotechnologies used for waste gas treatment are often vital in this climate change mitigation measure, as it is invery similar to those applied to waste water treatment. The two communities – the waste gas many adaptation measures. This should not be forgottentreatment engineers and the waste water treatment engineers – should interact more intense- when setting the policies, and dividing the hopefullyly. This is valid even though the regulation of waste gas treatment processes is more difficult big cake of the new Climate Change Adaptation fund.to regulate than that of waste water treatment. Finally, it was mentioned that research relating to greenhouse gases was not sufficiently Stefan Uhlenbrookaddressed at the congress. This is because biological processes are not so common in this ap- Professor of Hydrologyplication area. Moreover, people working in this field were not attending the conference. A Water Engineering Departmentfinal recommendation would be to put more effort in attracting scientists working in the field ¡ s.uhlenbrook@unesco-ihe.orgof greenhouse gases emission mitigation to present their work in future congresses. The nextconference will be held in 2011 in La Coruña, Spain. UPDATE UNESCO-IHE | DEC 2009 – JAN 2010 | 7
  8. 8. interview | New Rector Professor András Szöllösi-Nagy took up office as the Institute’s new Rector from mid-September. He follows in the footsteps of Professor Richard Meganck who recently retired from his six-year term as Rector of the Institute. Prior to his new appointment, Professor Szöllösi-Nagy was Director of the Division of Water, Secretary of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), and Deputy Assistant Director-General of the Natural Sciences Sector of UNESCO. During his tenure, Professor Szöllösi-Nagy was able to significantly reinforce UNESCO’s response capacities in the area of fresh- water through a variety of actions. Due to a reinforced IHP, the establishment of UNESCO-IHE, 23 UNESCO Water Centres and the UN World Water Assessment Programme (UN WWAP), it grew to become the largest, most widely known UN water programme in the world. He was also instrumen- tal in setting up the new UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education in March 2003 and acted as a key player in the integration of the Institute’s education and research programmes in UNESCO. “ The Institute has a dual nature that makes it intellectually powerful” ”It is good to be back in the world of academia. However, I must ad- Consensual mit I never really left the academic world,” said Szöllösi-Nagy. “The “I will continue the outstanding work that Richard Meganck, my International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO (IHP), which predecessor, has started,” he adds. “I very much value what he has I served for 20 years and nine days as its Secretary, is a large-scale done in a rather difficult period of transition. I would like to man- global scientific programme so my relations with academia were age this Institute on a consensual basis and would like to work never really severed. I worked closely in this community over the with the Academic Board, the Management Team, the Personnel years. On the other hand, facilitating international water science di- Council and other bodies that could make a positive contribution. plomacy versus practising and teaching water science, are two very It is needless to say that the Chairs of the Governing Board and the different things. It is a very exciting change and I am looking for- UNESCO-IHE Foundation Board, both very experienced and out- ward to plunging into the UNESCO-IHE pool. Of course, first I have standing politicians, will be my closest partners in setting overall to learn how to swim in this new pool. My first mission, therefore, strategies and policies. I have already started working with them will be that of learning. First of all, what is the shape of the pool? Is and am looking forward to a very successful cooperation.” there enough water in it? How do people swim in it? How should I swim in it and support the others?” Measured outflows When asking the Rector why he got involved in the water busi- To be an insider ness and what kept him so enthusiastic about it for such a long time, Szöllösi-Nagy has indicated that he would like to talk with everyone given the many organisational challenges in this area, he explained: at the Institute and learn from every single individual what she or he “I was about 16 years old when I was working as an observer at is doing. “I want to understand in more detail how this magnificent one of the UNESCO Experimental and Representative Catchment organisation works and how its people are shaping it. I want to un- Areas in Hungary during my summer vacation. This was during the derstand how its scientific departments and support units are work- International Hydrological Decade, so we are talking about paleo- ing, how they are interacting in the daily work in serving the basic hydrology. My job was to carry out field experiments under differ- goals of the Institute. I hope it does not sound too immodest, but I ent soil and slope conditions with a small cylindrical artificial rainfall believe I already know a fair bit about the Institute. I taught there generator and measure how much the surface flow that comes out some time ago and have stayed in regular contact with colleagues; I through a tiny V notch is. Quite a simple job, actually. Of course, I also played a role in transforming it into a UNESCO Institute and, of had no idea about hydrology, as I was much more interested in the course, I have visited it quite often. I love the place immensely. But young local village ladies, but I got very angry that wherever I set up of course it is one thing to be a visitor from outside, and quite anoth- my rainfall apparatus, the results were always very different. Even er to be an insider. I am looking forward to interacting with my new when I relocated my equipment just one metre away and repeated colleagues, learning more about their points of view and listening the experiment the measured outflows were always significantly to their proposals very carefully concerning potential improvements different. It was very frustrating.” and new strategical research directions.”8 | UPDATE UNESCO-IHE | DEC 2009 – JAN 2010
  9. 9. UPDATE UNESCO-IHE | DEC 2009 – JAN 2010 | 9
  10. 10. interview | New Rector What happens to the rain? Institute. “Over the years I have been involved in various networks, “Gradually I got interested in the question: What happens to the from professional NGOs through scientific journals and the in- rain? Was it my fault that the results are so dramatically differ- ternational scientific community to global water policy organisa- ent or is there something intrinsically random in this entire process tions in various functions. I would like to bring those networks in from the rain through to the pore distribution of the soil particles? closer association with the Institute. And I would like to assist my What are the physical laws? Are there any, or is it just chaos? Or colleagues in taking lead roles in the various associations, journals, perhaps both? From then on it was all very straightforward. After a forums, councils and boards in order to enhance our visibility, in- degree in Civil Engineering I became a hydrologist, wrote a couple crease support and generate a great impact. of theses, ranging from applied mathematics to systems science, When it comes to science-based water policy advice, Member and started to passionately develop mathematical models for hy- States as well as potential donors and clients will turn to the drological forecasting (to my greatest surprise some of them even Institute for help and action. Also, I would like to have UNESCO- worked). IHE play a more important role in designing and implementing IHP. A big eye opener were the assignments in various develop- There are already good practices, from urban water management ing countries. I realised the obvious: it is water that needs to be to water-related conflict resolution, but there is still considerable fixed otherwise developing countries will never have the chance to room for improvement. I will work towards bringing the IHE and achieve what we today call sustainable development. This obvious IHP staff much closer together and to build closer relations with the realisation made me join the United Nations as I also realised that rest of the UN system and the Bretton Woods institutions through without international cooperation and development, assistance in UN-Water as well as through bilateral cooperation. I also think it is policy setting, education and building local water management and important that we improve our collaboration with the headquarters science capacities in the third world, as it was called back in those divisions in Paris. UNESCO has a great deal to offer which we need days, there was no possibility that a fair and equitable world could to utilise much more. It is of paramount importance that members ever be built. Serving that cause was the best achievement in my of the Executive Board and the General Conference of UNESCO professional life. Mind you, I still don’t know what happens to the are aware of the role of the Institute in the implementation of the rain… So I am still challenged.” Organisation’s mandate. And I believe it is equally important that our colleagues in Delft are aware of what those bodies are deciding Main focus areas because those decisions are providing the framework for our work. Szöllösi-Nagy also shared his views on the main focus areas in the I will work on ensuring that the staff get to know the ‘big picture’. first biennium. “I would like to further strengthen the position of UNESCO-IHE in water science and education in the international scene with a principal regard to the needs of the developing coun- tries. We have all the opportunities and potential to become a lead- ing institute in the field. Talent is uniformly distributed but we have to find it and help it blossom. Indeed, I believe that the uniqueness of the Institute provides excellent initial conditions to achieve that. I would like to grow our international networks and get the best of the best involved in various activities of the Institute. I would like to establish and strengthen mutually beneficial relations with the lead water resources departments, both at universities and research facilities all over the world, with a special regard for the needs of the developing countries. I would like to attract leading scientists to spend their sabbatical year at the Institute and to contribute to and strengthen the academic life of the Institute. Secondly, I would like to increase the impact of the Institute both in terms of water education and science. I will work with my colleagues towards an improved financial base. We receive such unbelievably generous support from our host government and I would like to see other governments from the ‘developed world’ following suit. We are open to any scrutiny that any government wishes to make to identify how useful this institution is globally, regionally and locally and how much we could serve their foreign policy objectives in building water management capacities in de- Minimising hierarchy veloping countries. I will spare no efforts in convincing UNESCO’s Former staff members have described Szöllösi-Nagy as a vision- Member States that it is not only their moral obligation to support ary leader who is loyal, demanding, enthusiastic, hardworking and UNESCO-IHE but that it is also a good investment from their side. generous; this is how UNESCO-IHP has become so well-known in I believe we still have a great deal of room to mobilise UNESCO’s the water family and what has also kept them united behind him. Permanent Delegations, the UNESCO National Commissions, the But most of the staff and students at UNESCO-IHE are curious IHP National Committees, the IHP Secretariat in Paris, the Regional to know what he expects from them. “It was a great pleasure and Hydrologists at the UNESCO’s Regional and Field Offices and the privilege to work with my former staff at UNESCO and serve them. two dozen Category II water centres that are under the auspices of I worked in and with a wonderful team who were working openly UNESCO, to achieve our goals. and democratically. Hierarchy was minimised within a quite hierar- And thirdly, I would like to help my colleagues be successful. If chical administration in order to increase efficiency and the delivery they are successful then I am successful. If any of them fails, I fail.” of sound results.” He explains: “I saw my role as serving them and not the other way around. I have an open-door policy, whereby Networks anyone can come in and see me. In my opinion, the relative success With over 20 years of experience in the water sector at UNESCO of IHP was based on mutual trust. I would like to continue this ap- alone, Szöllösi-Nagy has a diverse skill-set to share which the proach at UNESCO-IHE as well.”10 | UPDATE UNESCO-IHE | DEC 2009 – JAN 2010
  11. 11. Inaugural Address On 5 November, Professor András Szöllösi-Nagy, was formally installed as the new Rector of the Institute after presenting his inaugural address en- titled: “Learn from you errors - if you can! – re- flections on the value of hydrological forecasting models.” A native of Hungary, Szöllösi-Nagy holdsAlumni are assets a Doctorate of Science in hydrology and stochasticThe Rector also touched upon the importance of alumni. “Alumni systems, a PhD in water sciences, and a Doctoremare real assets for us. They can mobilise additional support for the Habilem in hydrology and water resources, the lat-Institute. Many of the thousands who graduated here earlier are in ter two from Budapest University of Technology.lead positions now and could raise political support that could hope- Dr. Bart Schultz, the senior most member of thefully turn into financial support. Many of our alumni have become Academic Board opened this special academic ses-extremely successful in business. I will approach and encourage sion by noting that the education and research objec-them to help us build a UNESCO-IHE Endowment Fund that could tives of the Institute will remain primordial – drivingsupport our scholarship programme. Anyone could pay into the en- both the production of quality science as well as thedowment and withdraw funds at any given time. In the meantime, development mandates of UNESCO-IHE. The formal address of the new Rector traced some of thethe interest that the fund generates would help to finance scholar- very interesting, if somewhat convoluted, history of hydrological modeling as well as presenting aships. number of challenges relating to predicting extreme weather events such as floods and flood-related Also, I believe alumni could help us a great deal in identify- damage. And he did this in his ‘normal’ style – discussing a serious scientific issue while employing aing young talent that could enroll in the Institute to do graduate degree of irreverent humor. It is also fair to note that while few will doubt the scientific nature of hisand post-graduate work. Alumni could also help identify potential comments, he still manages to get into any number of arguments with well-meaning colleagues whoprojects that we could implement at a later stage. I am confident that fail to grasp the connections to which he refers. After what can only be described as an engaging ad-by having alumni involved in the work of the Institute we will be dress, the former Rector Richard Meganck passed the academic authority of the Beadle and the staffable to generate win-win situations that will help all of the parties of the Institute to the care of the new Rector symbolising the transfer of both the authority and theinvolved.” responsibility of the academic excellence of the Institute.FlexibilityWith increased flexibility in education a new reality, such as onlineand short courses, virtual learning platforms and the introductionof joint degrees with other institutes around the world, UNESCO-IHE is also taking big steps in this direction. “I would like to expandour activities in establishing more intensive relations with lead-ing schools in the world. Joint degree programmes with prestig-ious universities is certainly one of the options we need to examinemore closely. I have already had some discussions in this regard withsome lead universities and have noted a great deal of interest. It goes systems hydrology from him. Once, he survived one of my earlywithout saying that we must maintain the involvement and main- presentations where I advocated that continuous models belongedstreaming of universities in the developing countries in this process to the past and the future was for discrete models only. During theas well. I would like to encourage flexibility in our educational offer- discussion he declared: “hm, interesting idea but it’s junk, youngings. More elective subjects and more choice will certainly help tai- man”. Of course, he was right. I did not know it for many years butlor the courses to specific needs. I am quite certain that an improved Jim often acted as my guardian angel. Then, in my early twenties Iguest lecturer scheme and an expanded sabbatical leave system, by met the late Professor Vujica Yevjevich of Colorado State Universityinvolving the best brains we can have access to, will help a great deal who had a tremendous influence on my way of thinking in terms ofin this regard as well. UNESCO-IHE should also function as a labo- stochastic processes. (Later on somebody told me that my greatestratory of ideas and of new innovative thinking to solve the major achievement in hydrology is that I turned Stochastic Hydrology intowater resources issues in the world today.” Sarcastic Hydrology by occasionally being perhaps a little bit too critical with certain methodologies.) And finally, in my mid twen-Intellectually powerful ties I had the privilege of working at IIASA for some years. ProfessorSzöllösi-Nagy continues: “I think the Institute has a dual nature that Howard Raiffa of Harvard was my boss. He was a charismatic, intel-makes it intellectually powerful. On the one hand, there is a link lectual leader and the top gun in decision theory. He led us by exam-with the developing world through many networks, including that ple and with an eternal big smile, always encouraging and support-of the alumni, that brings in a constant flux of exciting issues that ing new ideas.require novel handling. These things are very real: real catchments,real people and real issues to solve. I believe these issues stimulate Jekyll and Hydethe discovery of entirely new approaches and fresh thinking. On the Szöllösi-Nagy is known by his closest friends as an infamous art col-other hand, the Institute, and UNESCO for that matter, has primary lector. His significant other, Judith Nem’s, is an artist. In responseaccess to the best minds of the world. If there is something untested, to the question how his love for art complements his professionalsomething seemingly too complex to deal with, something we do life, he responds: “Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide. Art is my Mr. Hidenot know how to handle we can always have access to the best side. It is totally independent of my professional activities. When Iprofessional advice and people. That is a tremendous asset that we was young I trained to become a sculptor. But soon enough I recog-should keep alive by increased networking and expanding our rela- nised that I was not talented enough. I also recognised that as theretions further.” were already so many bad artists in my country that adding one more would amount to a national catastrophe. So I gave up doingThree intellectual giants art. I have not drawn a single line ever since, not even on Sundays.When asking the Rector who has been his greatest example, he But anything that is supressed in your childhood comes back laterresponds: “My role model is my late father who was a geographer in adulthood. This is probably why Judith, who is indeed a painter,and a walking encyclopedia with an immense sense of humour and and I started to systematically collect contemporary art some twentyan insatiable appetite for all the good things in life. I miss him a great years ago. The subject matter is very narrow, geometric abstract anddeal. My professional life was very strongly influenced by three concrete art, but the collection became quite sizeable and interna-intellectual giants: Professor Jim Dooge, former Foreign Minister tional by now. In fact we even have paintings on the ceiling of ourof Ireland, Emeritus Professor of Hydrology in Dublin and also the house in Paris. It is not like the Kröller-Müller Collection – yet. Butformer President of ICSU. I consider him my grand master. I learned we are getting there. UPDATE UNESCO-IHE | DEC 2009 – JAN 2010 | 11
  12. 12. education | PhD ProgrammeUNESCO-IHE to award it’s 100th PhD degreeSince its affiliation with UNESCO in 2003, the Institute has made huge velopment focus on Africa, and more in particular Sub-Saharan Africa,steps in further developing its scientific reputation and establishing a a growing number of PhD students at UNESCO-IHE also originate fromsolid academic environment. The NVAO accreditation constituted a first that region.step, but other elements are the sharp increase in the number of peer-re-viewed publications, the appointment of additional scientific staff (PhD gender Twenty six per cent of the registered students in 2009 are fe-and professor level), the acquisition and allocation of more funds to re- male. This is nearly the same as the overall Dutch average of 27% in thesearch and recently the membership of the SENSE Research School. This science area. (Vereniging Samenwerkende Nederlandse Universiteiten,resulted in a spectacular growth in the number of PhD fellows: from the VSNU)late nineties until 2003, the number was stable at around 50 registeredstudents. In 2003 the number started to grow steadily from 48 in 2003 aver age dur aTion The average duration of a PhD study atto 89 in November 2009. When adding the number of staff members UNESCO-IHE is 5.45 years including the time between the approval ofdoing a PhD, the current enrollment reaches 95. the thesis and the date of the public defense, and 5 years if this time is excluded. This figure does not significantly deviate from the average ofappliCaTions When looking at the number of PhD applications, a universities in the host country, and also aligns with PhD programmes inpeak can be observed in 2008. In that year the Institute kicked-off an other countries. This is remarkable as the majority of PhD’s at UNESCO-ambitious research programme sponsored by the Netherlands Ministry IHE are done in a sandwich format, and students are often claimed byfor Development Cooperation. It was also the year in which the Institute their employer for part of their time.decided to allocate a larger portion of its base subsidy to co-funding ofresearch projects acquired through competitive calls. The Institute’s number of promoTions and disTinCTions Since the firststrategy is to maintain this high volume of research activities in the years graduation in 1994, 93 researchers obtained a PhD degree throughto come. UNESCO-IHE. The number of promotions is expected to reach 20 per year by 2012. Out of the 93 successful promotions, six candidates re-regional baCKground A prerequisite to be admitted in the ceived a PhD degree with cum laude. This is a remarkably high percent-UNESCO-IHE PhD programme is obviously the quality of the research age, exceeding the average of regular universities.proposal. In practice, an important bottleneck is the availability of fund-ing. Most of UNESCO-IHE’s students depend on sponsoring from na- ¡ Erick de Jong, e.dejong@unesco-ihe.orgtional governments or multilateral agencies. Due to the international de- W www.unesco-ihe.org/Education/PhD-programme Number of PhD applications Number of PhD promotions and admitted students of UNESCO-IHE 13 125 11 10 100 Number Number 75 7 7 7 6 6 6 50 Finally 5 5 admited 25 3 Academically admitted 2 2 2 0 1 2003/5 2004/8 2005/9 2006/10 2007/11 2008/12 2009/13 Total number 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 of applications Academic Years Academic Year12 | UPDATE UNESCO-IHE | DEC 2009 – JAN 2010
  13. 13. peer review evaluation | Sense Visitation The SENSE Research School for Socio-Economic and reConsider organisaTional sTruCTure Natural Sciences of the Environment is a joint venture It was also suggested that UNESCO-IHE consider es- of the environmental research institutes of ten Dutch tablishing a small external Academic Advisory Board universities. SENSE strives to be a high quality school to provide guidance in strategic research issues and to for researchers, where disciplinary and multidisci- provide recommendations on appointments. plinary approaches are being developed and taught Although the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water for the support of scientifically based and effective Education is organised along educational lines with environmental policies. UNESCO-IHE invited SENSE seemingly very efficient collaboration among the Research School to conduct a peer review evalua- core groups, it was recommended by the SENSE as- tion in order to obtain full participation and member- sessment committee that the Institute re-evaluates ship into the SENSE Research School. To this end, the its organisational structure of departments and core SENSE assessment committee looked at UNESCO- groups, which is at this time geared towards the MSc IHE’s past performance (2003-2008) and future programmes rather than research. potential. In addition, the Committee pointed out that UNESCO-IHE boosts the careers of many profession- als as a consequence of its mandate for capacity build-SENSE Research School ing in developing countries and should therefore mon- itor these career improvements in order to measure the societal impact and relevance of its research. Thewelcomes UNESCO-IHE added value behind this exercise is that the Institute’s alumni can facilitate ways to access a supplementary source of potential funding via their current employ- ers.SENSE Research School for The general result of the SENSE visitation is that: “The ConClusions The Institute has an excellentSocio-Economic and Natural UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education is highly interdisciplinary PhD programme and many individualSciences of the Environment is a visible and well regarded internationally with very rel- staff members already comply with the membershipjoint venture of the environ- evant research and societal evident high impact.” criteria. Thereby, SENSE welcomes UNESCO-IHE.mental research institutes of tenDutch universities. It promotes The group concluded that UNESCO-IHE is an in- The SENSE Peer Review Committee is convinced thatan integrated understanding of stitute in transition and that the number and quality of the future prospects for the UNESCO-IHE Instituteenvironmental change in terms research and publications has increased considerably for Water Education are very strong. The Institute is inof the mechanisms that cause it in the timeframe under revision. Interdisciplinary re- good shape and can build on its currently strong posi-and the consequences that result search is well developed and the PhD fellows are very tion to continue serving international water researchfrom it. To fulfil this mission, enthusiastic about their training with frequent super- and water management.the combined programmes ofresearch and education within vision and social integration with staff and participantsSENSE are aimed at the develop- alike. ¡ Berta Fernández Álvarez,ment and further improvement b.fernandezalvarez@unesco-ihe.orgof scientific concepts and seT Clear sTr aTegiC researCh prioriTies W www.sense.nlmethods that are required for an The Committee recommends that UNESCO-IHE de-effective disciplinary and multi- velop a coherent research strategy with the appropri-disciplinary understanding ofenvironmental change. Research ate incentives to increase scientific quality and pro-and education in SENSE are ductivity. The Institute should have a plan establishingdedicated to developing high its medium-term and long-term research priorities. Itquality scientific results, which would be useful to define clear and transparent bench-may be applied to practically and marks for the quantity and quality of research, forcritically inform environmen- example the SENSE criteria, as well as to create incen-tal policy perspectives. tives for research and high-level publications. PUN MEDIA CONSULTATION | Climate Change SHORT NEWS | Collaboration with American water utility international media grant for reverse consultation on adaptation osmosis desalination strategies to water and UNESCO-IHE will undertake research projects in reverse osmo- climate change sis desalination in conjunction with The American Water Works Company, the largest investor-owned U.S. water and waste-water util- International journalists, experts and a number of other participants from more ity company. The partnership has been made possible due to a grant than 35 countries took part in a 2-day seminar organised by the United Nations. of USD 490,000 that was recently awarded to the company. The seminar focussed on the role of the media and communicators and took “This research project will use novel methods to measure organic carbon in sea place at the end of September in Zaragoza, Spain. Conclusions from the meeting water that can cause plugging of the reverse osmosis membranes,” said Dr. Orren point out that the role of the media and communicators as information multipli- Schneider, senior environmental engineer for American Water and principle inves- ers is paramount to public advocacy and awareness-raising. The seminar was tigator for this project. “The study will also use advanced techniques to measure organised by the United Nations Office to Support the International Decade the surface charge of particles in sea water. Neutralization of this surface charge is for Action ‘Water for Life’ 2005-2015 (UNO-IDfA) and brought together important for particle and organic carbon removal in the pre-treatment process.” around 50 opinion leaders, communicators, UN representatives, and experts The American Water Works Company was founded in 1886, and has its from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America. headquarters in Voorhees, N.J. The company employs more than 7,000 professionals who provide drinking water, waste-water and other related ¡ Ulrike Kelm, kelm@un.org services to approximately 15 million people in 32 states and Ontario, Canada. W www.amwater.com UPDATE UNESCO-IHE | DEC 2009 – JAN 2010 | 13
  14. 14. COOPERATION | Armenia and Georgia partners agreement | Research and capacity buildingseeking to reinforcethe potentialsThe State Agrarian University of Armenia (SAUA), the Georgian StateAgriculture University (GSAU) and UNESCO-IHE have agreed to continuetheir collaboration on a number of joint education and capacity building activi-ties and trainings through tailor-made courses, regular short courses andrefresher seminars. The bilateral Memorandum of Agreements was one ofthe results of a succesful tailor-made training, held in 2008 and early 2009.Project leader László Hayde explains: “The training has substantially contrib-uted to the capacity building of university staff in Armenia’s and Georgia’swater sector. Eventually this will contribute towards increased socio-economicbenefits from the available water resource base and their long-term sus-tainability through better educated professionals. The training provided apromising opportunity for networking and sharing of information amongthe professionals involved, fostering the collaborative approach for par-ticipatory water resource development and management at local levels. Hayde continues: “The participants of the training are already showing inter- The International Spate Irrigation Networkests in strengthening and furthering the newly established professional contactsand collaborations which will only strengthen in the time ahead. The training also (SpN) and UNESCO-IHE have signed a formalhelped local resource persons, in addition to the exchange of know-how, build upcloser contacts with each other and with the trainers from UNESCO-IHE, which Cooperation Agreement to jointly explore oppor-will in turn facilitate continuous exchange of ideas and advice. Furthermore, tunities in research, projects and capacity build-this training has already stimulated communications with UNESCO-IHEwith regard to various capacity building opportunities in Netherlands as ing for the sustainable development and manage-well as for conceptualising and conducting joint research projects.” ment of flood-based irrigation systems, waterMultilateral strategy At the end of the training, Professor Gela Javakhishvili, and environmental resources management.Rector of the Georgian State Agricultural University (GSAU) and ProfessorDaniel Petrosyan, Pro-Rector of the Armenian State Agrarian University (ASAU)visited the Netherlands to discuss further cooperation possibilities, to determinethe long-term multilateral strategy for scientific cooperation development andto work out the details of an agreement among the participating institutions. “The collaboration between the State Agrarian University of Armenia(SAUA) and UNESCO-IHE and its outcomes are essential for Armenian Spate Irrigation: understood andspecialists. They will get the unique opportunity of capacity building andtrainings in Europe as well as explore the innovative technologies currentlyapplied in the field of water resources management. In the production field48 Water Users Associations and over 250,000 consumers of our Republicwill seek to reinforce the potentials of technological management. The cooperation agreement will open prospects to carry out further jointresearch based on the most sophisticated technologies in the field of sustainablewater resources management. The agreement will also develop opportunitiesfor masters and post-graduate participants, engaged in the agrarian educa-tional programme of Armenia, to gain knowledge concerning the applica- Over the past two years, the SpN has contributed as a co-fundingtion of innovative technologies and methodologies,” Dr Petrosyan added. and professional partner in several projects and tailor-made train-¡ László Hayde, l.hayde@unesco-ihe.org ing courses, including Spate Irrigation Improvement in Yemen, an Options Paper on Spate Irrigation and Adaptation to Climate Variability and Change, Global Guidelines for Spate Irrigation Improvement, and Spate Irrigation Training in Ethiopia. Promoting an exchange of experiences The central mis- sion of SpN is to promote an exchange of experiences through re- search and training courses with regard to the sustainable develop- Summit ment and management of spate irrigation and other flood-basedSWITCH | Global CityWater Futureslearning alliances for change by irrigation systems (flood recession farming, flood plain irrigation, inundation canals). it, hosted This is to improve food security in water-scarce areas as well as to TThe Global CityWater Futures Summ ning of October fulfill various environmental functions including preserving biodi- SWITCH at UNESCO-IHE, at the begin d 2009, broug ht together over 50 experts from aroun versity, stabilizing river systems, mitigating flood peaks and recharg- the world with 100 pract itioners from cities in Africa, ing groundwater. le East, and Europe, South America, Asia, the Midd organi- Australia as well as donor groups, international Unpredictable and unreliable Traditional flood-based ir- sations and media exper ts to join forces in accelerating r City of the rigation systems, which harness unpredictable, unreliable and often change toward a more sustainable wate destructive floodwater in ephemeral environments, have existed for d the world Futur e. Representatives from cities aroun actively stepping up and taking action presented innova- centuries as a major source of livelihoods for mainly economically jumpstarted by tive and local solutions. Discussions were disadvantaged communities in arid and semi-arid regions of sub- by a science media from India, Ghana and Yemen. The Summit was preceded Saharan Africa, Asia and the Middle East. exchanged ideas over a 3-day period meeting whereby experts interacted and Despite being among the oldest water resource management sys- including workshops and an innovation through a series of interactive events reports from tems, they remain the least studied and least understood and docu- marketplace. Visit the SWIT CH Water Summit Blog for videos and mented. Most investments have been channelled into the perennial the event http://switchwatersumm it.wordpress.com. irrigation systems because these were perceived as having relatively reliable water sources, a higher sustainable return, and fewer risks ¡ Carol Howe, c.howe@unesco-ihe.org and uncertainties with regard to crop and livestock production.14 | UPDATE UNESCO-IHE | DEC 2009 – JAN 2010