Special Sessions

Special Sessions

  1. Outfall Systems

Organizers: Philip Roberts (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA) and Robin Morelissen (Deltares, Holland)

This Special Session is organized by the IAHR/IWA Joint Committee on Marine Outfall Systems, which has the honor to invite submission of abstracts related to the planning, modelling, design, siting, monitoring, regulation and sustainable design of all parts of Outfall Systems.

We welcome abstracts on all forms of discharges including municipal, industrial, cooling or desalination wastewater as well as all receiving environments from lakes and rivers to estuaries and coastal areas.


  1. Nature Based Solutions in Water Management

Organizers: Ellis Penning (Deltares, Holland) and Erik Ruijgh (Deltares, Holland)

Nature Based Solutions for water management are increasingly becoming viable alternative to traditional, e.g., technical, solutions in water management. Working with natural processes rather than against them allows for better adaptation to a changing climate and the related water management challenges caused by this. Especially for flood management natural processes such as water retention in upstream catchment areas and the development of coastal and riverine wetlands can help combat the expected changes in flood risk.

In this Special Session the potential for Nature Based Solutions are explored, specifically focusing on the Middle and South American situation, but of course taking examples from the larger international community as a means to make more IAHR-members aware of these new developments.

  1. Large Scale Experimental Facilities for Ecohydraulic Research

Organizers: Un Ji (Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology, South Korea) and Ellis Penning (Deltares, Holland)

Ecohydraulic research assesses the interaction between hydrodynamic and morphodynamic processes in interplay with the living environment. For many of the research questions related to this discipline flume experiments are necessary to provide a well-controlled environment to study the relevant ecohydraulic processes. However, the intrinsic biomechanmical properties of plants and behavior-related parameters of animals and their habitat requirements are difficult to scale down to smaller sizes. Large Scale Experimental Facilities that cater for semi-unscaled ecohydraulic experiments are therefore important global assets.

We invite you to submit abstracts to this special session in which we want to provide a platform to present the latest ecohydraulic research carried out in large scale experimental facilities. We welcome examples from around the world on both coastal and inland applications.

  1. Recent Advances in Air-Water Flow Modeling Techniques

Organizer: Daniel Bung (FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences, Germany)

Air-water flow is a complex type of flow occurring in many applications of water engineering. Entrainment and dispersion of air bubbles lead to a significant change of physics compared to a clear-water flow. Particularly in highly turbulent aerated flows with large void fraction, the interaction between the air and water phase is still not fully understood and thus, in the focus of research all over the world. Due to its complexity, the topic is addressed nowadays by means of physical and numerical modeling where both approaches benefit from known advantages but suffer from some relevant drawbacks.

In this special session, recent advances in both modeling techniques will be presented with the objectives to get a better understanding of governing physics and to demonstrate the application to actual engineering challenges

  1. Urban Drainage

Organizer: Humberto Ávila (Universidad del Norte, Colombia), Jorge Gironás (Universidad Católica de Chile), Nilo de Oliveira Nascimento (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil), Néstor Mancipe (Universidad Nacional de Colombia) and Juan Pablo Rodríguez (Universidad de los Andes, Colombia)

This special session will present recent advances in understanding the role of sustainable urban drainage systems at different spatial scales both in already developed urban areas and in urban expansion projects. It will include planning, experimental and modeling studies looking at stormwater quantity and quality management, urban watercourses restoration and other potential environmental, social, and economic co-benefits. Special focus will be given to cases from Latin America but of course experiences from other regions and contexts are welcomed too.

  1. Transient in Pipes

Organizers: Silvia Meniconi (University of Perugia, Italy) and Dr. Moez Louati (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Fluid transients (or water hammer waves) are generated in closed conduits whenever a flow change is imposed onto the system.

There are numerous interesting aspects of fluid transients that have driven continued research and developmental interest in this field. Firstly, the high pressure wave speed of pipeline systems meant that small changes in the fluid velocity will lead to large pressure variations which can damage the pipes. The kinetic energy variation originated by water hammer is dissipated by straining and expanding the pipeline, and, often, the pressures are sufficient to cause permanent distortion of pipeline supports and, in severe cases, can lead to failure of pipe walls, pumps and turbines. Then further research is required to develop cost effective and efficient means of fluid transient suppression, especially since pipeline failures from transients continue to occur around the world.

Despite initially assumed to be one dimensional in nature, recent research has demonstrated that three-dimensional shear and turbulence effects impose significant changes in the nature of the pressure waves generated during transients. The mechanisms for wave propagation are also frequency and mode dependent, creating a myriad of complexities that have driven fundamental research in this area and the development of efficient solution schemes capable of predicting the evolution of these waves in pipeline networks.
Ultimately, the improved understanding of the behaviour of pressure waves has opened up exciting technological possibilities in the future for fault detection in pipe systems. In fact they can be used to transmit information across the pipeline system, analogous to the use of small amplitude electrical signals in smart electrical grids for fault diagnosis, collection of consumer usage information as well as network monitoring and control.

“Transient in Pipes” special session calls for contributions from academia, research centers, companies and consultant firms pertaining, although not limited to, the following topics:
·  Pressure pipe system diagnosis by means of transients;
·  Leakage and energy management in water networks;
·  Geysers in stormwater and combined sewer systems;
·  Modeling of transients in pressurized pipe systems: unsteady friction simulation, viscoelastic effects in polymeric pipes, 2-D models and local velocity measurement;
·  Field works: case studies, practical applications and ongoing projects.

  1. Robust, Climate-Change Sensitive and Adaptive Water Resources Management

Organizers: Young-oh Kim (Seoul National University, South Korea) and Ramesh Teegavarapu (Hydrosystems Research Laboratory, USA).

This session will focus and invite presentations from water resources management community who are working on issue related to development of robust management options for vulnerable hydrologic and hydraulic structures under changing climate. The session will promote and discuss emerging and state-of-art analysis and management approaches for effective decision making for hydro-systems management. These approaches are expected to consider climate variability and change, improved forecasting techniques, short-term climate information, economic impacts, sustainability and green development issues. Policy oriented works that address implementation of measures to handle climate change adaptation and mitigation. IAHR WRM -LT as an organizer of this session invites papers from different regions of the world to share and learn diverse experiences and outcomes of experiments with climate-change sensitive water resources management options.

  1. Coastal Reservoirs                                                                                        

Organizer: Shuqing Yang (University of Wollongong, Australia).

By 2030 around 2/3 of the people in the world will live in cities and most of them in coastal cities. Coastal reservoirs may provide a feasible solution to water shortage crisis, and it can be also used to mitigate flood disasters that are becoming more frequent and more severe due to climate change and sea-level rising. It can be used for energy storage, i.e., pumping water from one reservoir to another neighboring reservoir during night time to store energy, and the water is released back to the lower water reservoir in daytime to generate electricity. It may also provide a solution to prevent invasive marine species introduced by ship’s ballast water that can be reused by ships once coastal reservoirs are constructed in ports.

  1. Low-Lying Coasts Under Climate Change and Anthropogenic Pressures

Organizers: José F. Rodríguez (The University of Newcastle, Australia) and Scott C. Hagen (Louisiana State University, USA

Climate change in general and sea-level rise in particular threatens low-lying coastal communities and ecosystems, potentially altering habitats and increasing vulnerability to inundation, storms and waves. Coastal systems are also under unprecedented levels of human pressure, and interrelations with sea-level rise may amplify their vulnerability to future climate. Climate change, human pressures and extreme events all must be considered in any management activity that seeks to enhance the resilience of coastal ecosystems.

This session invites contributions that advance fields related to natural and social interactions with the broad aim of promoting synergy among the various coastal systems research communities. Presentations are invited to cover aspects of coastal vulnerability, sustainability and resilience (including integrated bio-geophysical models, field and remote measurements and socioeconomic processes), and promote transdisciplinary research outcomes.

  1. Sustainable Water Storage to meet Water, Food, and Energy Development Goals

Organizers: 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) and Miroslav Marence (IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Netherlands)

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.  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, https://www.un-ihe.org/projects/sustainable-hydropower-and-multipurpose-storage-meet-water-food-and-energy-sdgs), 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.

  1. Climate Change Impact Assessment on the water cycle

Organizer: Roberto Ranzi (University of Brescia, Italy).

This session will be focused on the hydrological aspects of climate change impact  on the water cycle: floods, droughts, runoff regime, precipitation extremes, evapotranspiration losses and crop demand. Analysis of long-term time series will be especially welcome, to identify natural cycles, persistence and interconnections  between hydrological, climatic and other geophysical data.

This session invites contributions on the application of climate change scenarios for assessing changes in regimes and extremes in the water cycle. Up-to-date time series analyses techniques and statistical testing are invited to be presented.

  1. Advances in Tools, Methods and Modeling of Water System Operation

Organizer: Xiaohui Lei (China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, China)

Many developing and low-income countries in the world are also countries suffering from frequent natural hazards, severe water shortage and energy problems. Hydraulic engineering is one of the most important infrastructures to overcome such problems since it can deal with flood defense, water supply, irrigation, hydropower etc. Nowadays, the variabilities of climate system and the increases of population growth are challenging the fundamental operation and management of water systems. Advanced modeling approaches and optimization algorithms are needed to achieve high sustainability for water security within various water systems.

As the chair and main member of IAHR Water System Operations Working Group, we believe that water system operations is an area where the vast experiences from many members in IAHR can share and promote in developing and underdeveloped countries. Session will seek studies on developing advanced tools, methods and modeling techniques in support of water system operation. Papers that focus on inflow forecasting, multiple reservoirs system operation, water diversion system operation, operation of Rural-Urban water systems, integrated software and platform development, hydro-solar-wind multi-energy system are also encouraged. The overarching goals of this session is to explore and propose ways to resolve the technical challenges of water system operations and management, operational issues relating to reservoirs/pumps/sluices in inter-basin, basin, district and other scales, and mitigate the impacts they have on human society and the natural environment.

  1. Advances on tsunami modelling and characterization

Organizers: Daniel Conde (Instituto Superior Tecnico, Portugal), Rui M.L. Ferreira (Instituto Superior Tecnico, Portugal), Ioan Nistor (University of Ottawa, Canada), Nils Goseberg (TU Braunschweig, Germany), Juan Galvis Arrieta (Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia), Patricio Winckler (University Valparaíso, Chile) and Patricio Catalán (Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria, Chile)

Tsunamis are waveforms mostly originated by the vertical displacement of the seafloor, as a consequence of earthquakes. In deep waters, they exhibit low amplitude, relatively to the mean local sea level, which makes them difficult to observe directly. As they travel up the continental slope, the wavelength typically reduces and the amplitude increases. Approaching shore, the waves may break and form bores that propagates overland. At this stage the tsunami becomes particularly destructive as its large amount of momentum is imparted to the obstacles it encounters. It incorporates debris, either natural sediment eroded from the bottom boundary or remains of human built environment, propagating as a granular-fluid flow. Bed morphology may be severely affected as the tsunami propagates inland and also as it recedes back to the ocean, as shown in the recent 2004 and 2011 occurrences in Sumatra and Japan, respectively. In Central America, both the western shore (Pacific Ocean) and the eastern shore (Caribbean Sea) have been hit by tsunamis. Panama alone has been hit no less than 16 times in the past 130 years. This justifies the modelling efforts aimed at quantifying potential inundation areas for present-day altimetry and bathymetry of tsunami-prone areas. The impact of tsunamis on the built environment has been increasingly studied, especially in the aftermath of the Tohoku event.

This session is promoted by researchers of the IAHR Fluid Mechanics and Experimental Methods and Instrumentation committees and aims at bringing together researchers developing or using field, laboratory and statistical techniques to improve the knowledge on tsunami processes as well as researchers developing or using mathematical simulation tools to describe tsunami propagation, especially run-up and interaction with the built environment. It will be proposed that a selection of the most impactful papers will be published in an extra or special issue of an international journal indexed in Scopus

  1. Riparian Vegetation Processes: Focused on Causes and Effects and Modeling

Organizers: Hyoseop Woo (Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea), Takashi Asaeda (Saitama University, Japan) and Dr. Rohan Benjankar (Southern Illinois University, USA)

The riparian vegetation processes, recruitment, establishment, succession and retrogression, have been considered as a part of natural phenomena, like flood and drought and changes in river course in fluvial system. Accelerated riparian vegetation processes due to human impacts have caused dramatic changes in the riparian ecosystem functions, and in some cases, increased river-disaster risks.  This special session focuses mainly on the human impacts on the riparian vegetation processes, and computer modeling of the processes based on the physical, chemical, and biological interactions. Relevant case studies in different geographic and climatic regions are also discussed.

Topics of the special session are, but not limited to, the followings:

– Fundamentals of riparian vegetation processes (including field observations)

– Riparian vegetation processes in different types of rivers (climate, morphology,   land use, etc.)

– Invasion of exotic species in riparian vegetation

– Human impacts on riparian succession dynamics

– Riparian vegetation models: dynamic succession models

– Evaluation of new ecosystems created by changes in riparian vegetation

  1. Non-intrusive measuring techniques for free-surface and pressurized flows

Organizers: Rui M.L. Ferreira (Instituto Superior Tecnico, Lisboa), Markus Noack (Universität Stuttgart, Germany), Massimo Guerrero (University of Bologna, Italy), Gensheng Zhao (Delft University of Technology, Holland), Dídia Covas (Instituto Superior Tecnico, Portugal), Claudia Adduce (Università Degli Studi Roma Tre, Italy) and Margaret Chen (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)

Advances on hardware and software have broaden the range of methods available to measure key flow variables and parameters in pressurized and free-surface flows. For instance, in the case of velocimetry, established methods such as PIV or PTV can now be used to retrieve all three components of the velocity field on three-dimensional domains with high space and time resolution. Optical flow methods are increasingly used by industrial flow communities along with LDA/LDV and Ultrasound velocimetry. Acoustic techniques  (e.g., UVP ADCP) enabled the investigation of velocity field and sediment transport in harsh conditions and where turbidity hinder optical-laser penetration. The domain of application ranges now from micro-fluidics to river reach scales and coastal areas (in the case of planar LSPIV and ADCP-ABS). Pressure can be derived from time resolved 3D PIV while data assimilation techniques allow for hybrid experimental-numerical flow descriptions with higher temporal or spatial resolutions. Laser-based methods have been used to reconstruct bed morphology while advances in photogrammetry and 3D scanning (e.g. MS Kinect) have allowed to reconstruct detailed geometries of channels and free-surface.

This session is promoted by researchers of the IAHR Experimental Methods and Instrumentation and Fluid Mechanics committees and aims at bringing together researchers developing or using non-intrusive techniques to measure flow variables or parameters, including the methods described above. It will be proposed that a selection of the most impactful papers will be published in an extra or special issue of an international journal indexed in Scopus.

  1. Instrumentation and modelling tools to mitigate flood risks associated to dam and dike failure

Organizers: Sílvia Amaral (National Laboratory for Civil Engineering, Portugal) Rui M.L. Ferreira (Instituto Superior Tecnico, Portugal), An Ruidong (Sichuan University, China), Rui Aleixo (University of Bologna, Italy, University of Porto, Portugal) and Sandra Soares Frazão (Univerité Catholique de Louvain, Belgium)

Failure of dams and dikes is responsible for floods that may greatly exceed hydrological floods of very high return period. They may cause strong negative impacts on the environment, damage in other infrastructures and loss of lives. To mitigate the risk of flood associated to dam or dike failure it is necessary to know the involved phenomena, be it the instantaneous failure of concrete dams or the progressive failure by overtopping of earth or rockfill dams or the failure by piping of earth dams. Controlled experiments in small prototypes or dam models have been a way to acquire phenomenological insights that can explain observed traits and statistical tendencies of real dam failures. The determination of the exposure associated to a dam-break or breach scenario is a key element in the determination of the risk posed by that dam. Hence, hydrodynamics and geotechnical behaviour of dam-break and dam-breach are included in mathematical models that can be used for planning, risk assessment or, during actual events, to prioritize rescue actions.

This session is promoted by researchers of the IAHR Experimental Methods and Instrumentation, Fluvial Hydraulics and Flood Risk Management committees and aims at bringing together researchers developing or using field, laboratory and statistical techniques to improve the knowledge on dam-breach and dam-break processes as well as researchers developing or using mathematical simulation tools to describe dam-breach or dam-break induced floods. It will be proposed that a selection of the most impactful papers will be published in an extra or special issue of an international journal indexed in Scopus.                                                                                                              

  1. Tribute to the late Forrest Holly

Organizers: Scott C. Hagen (Louisiana State University, USA) and Larry Weber (University of Iowa, USA).

Forrest Merton Holly Jr., distinguished hydraulician, leader in civil engineering, and stimulating companion, passed away on Monday, May 22, 2017. His professional life was filled with significant advances in computational hydraulics, understated leadership, and many interests that he pursued energetically. He gained the esteem, gratitude, and affection of the many people with whom he came in contact. His service as IAHR president (2000–03) reflected his genial, highly competent approach to the tasks he tackled.

During this session we will hear from friends, colleagues and former students as they share their experience with Forrest’s legacy. Presentations will include overviews if his impact to IAHR and the IIHR – Hydrosciences & Engineering. Several notable publications that Dr. Holly authored will be discussed.

  1. Flow-vegetation-sediment interactions: Advances in incorporating natural plant features in hydraulic experimentation and modeling

Organizer: Juha Järvelä (Aalto University, Finland) and Dr. Jochen Aberle

Vegetation imposes a critical control on the flow of water and transport of sediment in riverine and coastal systems. In fluvial environments, it is well established that natural and maintained vegetation has important interconnections with channel flow resistance and morphological development as well as water quality. Similarly, coastal vegetation largely affects wave and sediment processes. Consequently, this topic area has received significant research attention in the recent years, but due to the spatial and temporal complexity of natural conditions, many questions remain to be resolved.

The purpose of the proposed session is to bring together contributions focusing on the latest advances in incorporating natural plant properties such as flexibility and complex morphology in hydraulic experimentation and modeling. We seek to enhance the development of physically and biologically solid descriptions of riparian and aquatic vegetation properties in both physical and numerical modeling applications. In particular, we invite presentations addressing the reconfiguration of natural riparian/floodplain vegetation and the vertical structure of plant canopies. Scales to be covered range from point/laboratory scale to river reach / remote sensing, with a view on both practical and academic applications.

  1. Hydro-environment Engineering Projects. Key studies

Organizer: IAHR representative or engineering consulting firm

A special session aiming at international consultants and construction companies that has conducted high profile projects around the world.

  1. World Water Policy

Organizer: IAHR President

A special session aiming at high world financial institutions and decision makers.