The Science of Global Water Security: Linking Knowledge to Solutions

11:00-14:00 UTC | 06:00-09:00 US Eastern Time (UTC-5) | 19:00-22:00 Beijing Time (UTC+8)
Tuesday, 15 December 2020


Following the encouraging success of the first IAHR webinar on ‘The Business of Global Water Security’, attracting a global audience of over 4,800 page views, it is timely for IAHR now to focus on ‘The Science of Global Water Security’. Due to climate change, population growth, increasing urbanisation etc., many of the world’s key river basins, coastal zones and groundwater systems are becoming more stressed, in the form of: reduced water resources, increased floods and droughts, and contamination from traditional pollutants (such as faecal indicator organisms) and more recent toxic substances (such as endocrine disruptors, emerging contaminants, perfluorooctanoic acids (PFOAs) – to mention but a few).

Whilst water scientists and engineers in the practitioner communities, including: regulatory authorities, water companies, consulting and contracting companies, non-governmental organisations etc., are regularly focused on reducing levels of pollution and contamination from the substances listed above, it is not always appreciated that the hydraulics, fluid mechanics and groundwater flow processes provide the vector for transporting these substances, along with many others, through the aquatic systems. These pollutants and contaminates can be transported, diffused, decay and adsorbed/desorbed within the water column and with the sediments. To obtain solutions to improving our aquatic and marine ecosystems then water scientist and engineering teams addressing challenges must understand the processes relating to the hydrodynamics, biochemistry, ecology and morphology, to mention but a few, and through the whole water system, from the surface to the bed and throughout the full water cycle from the cloud, through the river and groundwater system, and into the coastal and marine environments. To fulfil these objectives IAHR members are heavily engaged in developing and applying state-of-the-art: laboratory and field monitoring facilities and techniques, computational fluid and sediment dynamics models, artificial intelligence tools, real-time monitoring data systems and many other activities.

This second webinar in this series therefore focuses on some of these issues, including: artificial intelligence and algal blooms, flow biota interactions in aquatic systems, interactions between emerging contaminants and the water column, high resolution process modelling through the water system and improved groundwater recharge and storage. This second webinar in a series of webinars being planned by the IAHR Global Water Security Working Group, will focus on framing high-level science and engineering solutions to the challenges and opportunities of Global Water Security; bringing together well-known experts in their fields from the hydro-environmental science and engineering community within IAHR. Future webinars will focus more on climate change, real-time systems and policy issues and challenges associated with Global Water Security issues.


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Joseph Hun-Wei Lee

Vladimir Nikora

Weiling Sun

Thorsten Stoesser

Chunhui Lu


Joseph Hun-Wei Lee


I. Introduction and Keynote Speeches (25 mins)

  • Introduction to IAHR

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) for identification of toxic algal blooms
    Joseph Hun-Wei Lee, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China

II. Keynote Speeches (25 mins each)

  1. Flow-biota interactions in aquatic systems: implications for hydro-epidemiology
    Vladimir Nikora, JHR Associate Editor; University of Aberdeen, UK

  2. Interactions between emerging contaminants and aquatic particles
    Weiling Sun, Peking University, China

  3. Open-channel water surface boils: repercussion to bed generated turbulence?
    Thorsten Stoesser, University College London, UK

  4. Improving fresh groundwater storage of oceanic islands by using a less permeable slice along the shoreline
    Chunhui Lu, Hohai University, China

III. Q&A (10 mins)

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