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Conferences, workshops, events

November 21, 2014

CHR organises on a regular basis international scientific events.   Since 2014 CHR organises its so called Spring Seminars.

First Rhine Mekong Symposium. 'Rhine meets Mekong' (for knowlegde exchange and to identify possible themes for future cooperation)

On 8 and 9 May 2014 CHR has organized together with the Mekong River Commission (MRC) a symposium on ‘Climate Change and its Influence on Water and Related Sectors’. The final report of the symposium is available for download here. CHR has a positive attitude towards future cooperation (e.g. a 2nd Rhine-Mekong-Symposium in 2015). A continuation of the cooperation however depends largely on the internal developments within MRC and on the availability of funds for the CHR to finance the cooperation.

CHR Spring-Seminar socio-economic impact on the discharge regime of the Rhine

In November 2012 a project plan in order to investigate the influence of socio-economic influences on the low flow regime of the Rhine was discussed by the CHR members. The project plan aimed at the identification of the current user functions within the catchment area of the Rhine and the analysis of the possible influence of climate change scenarios and socio-economic developments on these user functions and consequences of the possible changes on the low flow discharge of the Rhine. To collect existing knowledge on socio-economic factors and possible future socio-economic developments present within the different riparian countries, a workshop was organised by CHR in March 2014 in Bregenz/Austria. The presentations of the workshop can be downloaded under 'Calender'. The final report of the workshop is available for download here.

Workshop Intercomparison of flood forecasting models

This workshop was organized at the Federal Institute of Hydrology, Germany from 14 to 16 September 2011 in Koblenz, Germany.
The workshop was a response to a recommendation made during a workshop held in Geneva in December 2009 on the Strategy and Action Plan of the WMO Flood Forecasting Initiative. Based on the exchange of experiences with different flood forecasting models under vastly differing environmental and institutional conditions, the primary output from the workshop was a decision-aiding matrix to help with the selection of appropriate flood forecasting models under differing conditions and objectives.

RheinBlick2050 final colloquium: Towards coordinated discharge scenarios for the international Rhine basin

According to current climate projections future climate may be characterised by an increase of the climate system's variability which might also be accompanied by changes in the frequency and intensity of meteorological extreme events. Global climate models indicate robust large-scale changes of the precipitation regime (e.g. decrease of summer-, increase of winter precipitation in Central Europe) (e.g. IPCC, 4AR WG1, 2007). Linked to this are modifications of discharge (low flow and high flow) regimes of European Rivers, with variable impacts on managed (anthropogenic) and unmanaged (natural) systems, depending on their sensitivity and vulnerability (ecology, economy, infrastructure, transport, energy production, water management, etc.). Even under an efficient climate change mitigation policy, climate change is going to have impacts in the upcoming years. In this context, decision makers need adequate adaptation strategies to minimize negative effects of climate change, based on up to date knowledge on the potential impacts including uncertainties.

In this context the International Commission for the Hydrology of the Rhine basin (CHR) has carried out the project ‘RheinBlick2050' aiming at the development and interpretation of joint, consistent discharge projections for the international Rhine River catchments. The underlying data and information are compiled from different national research projects from the Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland and are based on the most actual climate projections. The findings will help to assess future changes of hydro-meteorological conditions in the Rhine River basin and how such impacts influence hydrologic and hydraulic processes. Potential users of the findings and data, stakeholders and decision makers have been involved.

CHR has presented the results and findings of the project during a two day colloquium on 13 and 14 October 2010 in Bonn / Germany. Besides on the project outcome, the state of the art of research on global and regional climate change and its impacts on the hydrology of the Rhine basin has been presented by several speakers. The presentations that were given during this event can be found under 'Events'.

International Workshop Advances in Flood Forecasting and the Implications for Risk Management

Recent developments in flood forecasting allow for better quantification of uncertainties that come with flood forecasting modelling. Information about uncertainties must be communicated to decision makers as well as to the general public. The change from pure deterministic to more probabilistic forecasts is a challenge for all stages of flood risk management.
In cooperation with the COST731 action, the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, the German and Netherlands National IHP/HWRP Committees, the German Association for Hydrological Sciences and the Dutch Centre for Water Management, CHR has invited scientists, decision makers and stakeholders in the filed of flood prediction, flood prevention and crisis management for a two-day workshop that was held 25 and 26 May 2010 in Alkmaar, The Netherlands. The objectives of this workshop were to discuss new approaches to flood forecasting, aspects of decision making for flood damage prevention and acceptance and communication of flood warnings. More information and pdf versions of all presentations, abstracts and the final report are availabe under 'events'.

International Workshop Erosion, Transport and Deposition of Sediments

In cooperation with UNESCO ISI, the University of Bern and the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, CHR has organized from 28 till 30 April 2008 an international workshop on erosion, transport and deposition of sediments. The workshop was held at the University of Bern. The objectives of the workshop were to present a state-of-the-art of sediment related problems, to discuss present and future problems in relation to sediment management, to exchange knowledge about erosion, transport and deposition of sediment, to detect and discuss research needs and to discuss and solve specific problems in a Swiss alpine catchment area. The International Commission for the Hydrology of the Rhine Basin (CHR) invited scientists, researchers, decision makers, consulting experts and stakeholders in the field of sediment management to discuss these issues during a three day workshop. The final report of this workshop is available on the CHR website.

Workshop "Low Flows and Drought"

On 25 and 26 September 2007 CHR has organized an international workshop on 'Low Flows and Drought'. The workshop was combined with the 60th meeting of the CHR and held at the office of the Water and Navigation Directorate in Würzburg, Germany. The final report of this workshop as well as pdf versions of the presentations are available on our website under events.

Workshop "Sediment 2007"

On 8 and 9 February 2007 CHR organized the third two-day workshop on graded sediment. Previous workshops took place in Arnhem and Darmstadt. This time the workshop was hosted by the Federal Institute of Hydrology in Koblenz. Aim of the workshop was to exchange knowledge and experience as well as to identify knowledge gaps and research deficits in the field of river morphology.

In total 15 representatives from Dutch and German universities and knowledge institutes participated. The programme consisted of 9 scientific presentations, about process research, field studies and model applications. Between the presentations a lot of discussions took place.

All participants expressed their positive feelings about the workshop. It was decided to organise a similar workshop after two years again, this time hopefully also with participants from Switzerland and Austria. Participants also agreed on an increased mutual exchange of publications.

A CD with the presentations of the workshop and the protocol was sent to the participants.

To conclude: it is good to see that cooperation in the field of river morphology increases, e.g. in the project 'Sustainable waterway Rhine delta'.

Workshop "Ensemble Predictions"

On 30 and 31 March 2006 an international workshop on 'Ensemble predictions and uncertainties in flood forecasting' took place in Berne/Switzerland. This workshop was organised in co-operation with the WMO Sub Group on flood forecasting and warning. In three thematic blocks 58 participants discussed the following themes:

  • Uncertainty in numerical weather predictions. Methods for calculation of ensembles, interpretation of ensembles, use of ensemble weather forecasts in operational mode, selection of representative ensembles.
  • Hydrological ensemble forecasts. Improvement of hydrological forecasts through ensemble weather forecasts, verification of ensemble forecasts, translation of uncertainty in weather forecasts into hydrological uncertainty, representation of uncertainties in hydrological models, model parameters and initial conditions.
  • Communication of uncertainty. Communication between forecasters, decision-makers and the public, role of the human forecaster, process and tools to control the operation of a hydrological ensemble forecast system, dealing with false alarms.

More information on this workshop, as well as the abstracts and presentations, can be found here.

Workshop "Extreme Discharges"

On 18 and 19 April 2005 the international workshop 'Extreme Discharges' took place at the ‚Siechenhaus' of the power company 'Vorarlberger Illwerke' in Bregenz, Austria. To this workshop experts were invited individually. In three thematic blocks over 60 participants, among which 21 speakers, discussed the following themes:

  • How extreme is extreme? Examples of extreme meteorological and hydrological events in different catchments. Alternative methods for the determination of design discharges (e.g. rainfall generators);
  • Determination of extreme discharges. Determination of floods using rainfall frequencies, generated time series (rainfall generators) and through consideration of dominant runoff processes and historical floods. Application of distribution functions for the determination of extreme discharges.
  • Can we assess the effects of human interventions on extreme events? What is the impact of climatic variability and land use on extreme discharges? What is the effect of widely spread retention measures on the flood development? What are the trans-boundary effects of flooding and flood reduction measures on extreme discharges?

More information, the conclusions and the presentations in PDF format can be found here.

Workshop "Climate Change"

On 24 and 25 June 2003 an international workshop on climate change was held at the conference centre 'De Reehorst' in Ede, the Netherlands. Aim of this workshop was to provide an update on the state of the art regarding climate change research in the Rhine basin. Experts in the field of climate change were invited individually. The number of participants was 40. The most important results of the workshop have been published on our website and will be included in future studies and publications of the Commission. For information contact: (BfG +49-261-13065234).

Workshop "Sediment 2003"

On 11 and 12 December 2003 a two day international workshop on the transport of graded sediment was held in Darmstadt, Germany. The number of participants was 15. The CHR report II-19 'Morphological computations with sediment mixtures' that was published in November 2003, was discussed. For information contact: (RIZA/WRR +31-26-3688838).