17th global meet on ‘Sustainable Water Resource Development’ held

AMU has hosted 17th International symposium on ‘Sustainable Water Resource Development,’ at Main Campus from 23-24 June, 2017, wherein researchers from across globe tested waters to deliberate strategies to tackle this crucial challenge confronting Ethiopian landscape. Click here to see the pictures.

Symposium began with Arba Minch Town Cultural Music Band regaling audience with some soulful dances. Institute of technology Scientific Director, Dr Alemayehu Chufamo, extending hearty welcome to the gathering, informed that since last three decades AMU has been producing professionals in water sector thus contributed immensely to make a difference at national level.

Dr Michael Menker, representing Minister for Water, Irrigation and Electricity, Dr Sileshi Bekele, and advisor to the Ministry, averred that Ethiopia is facing challenges in this arena, as economic growth depends on rain-fed agriculture. And exhorted scientific community to study the issue of sedimentation, climate variability and come up with suggestions and guidelines for the appropriate remedial measures at government level can be taken to improve the scenario.

To cope up with such major challenges so that human and livestock get enough water and agriculture flourish, it’s imperative to have alternatives. Ethiopia is generating power and earning revenue as dams are being built and most are equipped with knowhow, but capacity to interpret the parameters is missing for it will enable to take timely action for dam safety, he quipped.

University President, Dr Damtew Darza, in his opening remarks said water is precious for mankind and ecosystem, but mushrooming population makes the scenario tough for its demand is soaring high; to tackle this complex issue, holistic and integrated approach is must. He also informed that despite immense water resource potential, Ethiopia is vulnerable to drought and floods because it was unable to utilize the existing water resource appropriately.

He further adds lack of technological capacity is the bottlenecks for economy is depend on rain-fed agriculture and vulnerable to climate variability. Having identified such intricacies, government is taking measures that if combined with researchers’ inputs will enhance water sector.

Key-note speaker, Prof Benedict Mutua of Kibabii University, Kenya, on Mara River basin said, hydrological models are considered as quintessential tools for water and environment resource management. However, modeling poorly gauged watersheds are posing challenges.

And recent research has shown potential to overcome this challenge through incorporating satellite based hydro-meteorological data in the measured data and his research, he said, is the results of that used semi-distributed conceptual HBV light model in Mara River Basin, Kenya.

Academic Affairs Vice President, Dr Yechale Kebede in his closing remarks lauded AMU’s Water Research Resource Centre (WRRC) for hosting symposium of such great magnitude and opined that such scientific deliberations will pave the way for a sustainable solution.

The symposium saw 23 papers in five thematic areas i.e. Hydrology & integrated water resource management, Renewable energy, Irrigation & drainage, Water supply & sanitation and Emerging challenges, of which, AMU has two; it also had nine poster presentations.

International and national researchers from Kibabii University, Kenya, Tempere University, Finland, and Brussels University, Belgium, International Water Management Institute, Tigray and Oromia Agricultural Research Institutes, Mekelle Agricultural Research Centre, Ethiopian Foreign Relation Strategic Studies Institute; Kotebe Metropolitan, Haramaya, Hawassa, Bahir Dar, Jimma, Ambo and Mekelle universities were in attendance.

South Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region Water & Irrigation Development Bureau, Rift Valley Lake Basin Authority and South Construction Design and Supervision Enterprise sponsored the event. WRRC Director, Dr Abdella Kemal, anchored the program.

(Corporate Communication Directorate)