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International Conferences and Other Activities

International Watershed Studies (IWS) convenes and participates in various international conferences, workshops, and short courses. IWS staff also are periodically requested to review and comment on specific projects of an international nature. Activities of this type will be continuously identified, updated and described within this project area.

Upcoming Activities

  • 15th World Lake Conference - This global-scale conference will be convened in Perugia, Italy, during September 2014, in cooperation between the International Lake Environment Committee (ILEC) and the Umbria Scientific Meeting Association (USMA). The theme of the conference is "Lakes - The Mirrors of the Earth." Dr. Walter Rast, International Watershed Studies Director, Vice-Chair of the ILEC Scientific Committee, and organizer of the 14th World Lake Conference (see below), is assisting the organizing commitee in all aspects of the conference preparations.

Past Activities

  • 14th World Lake Conference – Organized by Walter Rast, IWS Director, and The Meadows Center, in cooperation with the International Lake Environment Committee (ILEC), Shiga, Japan, the jointly sponsored the 14th World Lake Conference was held October 31-November 4, 2011, at the Austin Convention Center. Built around the theme “Lakes, Rivers, Groundwater and Coastal Areas: Understanding Linkages,” the conference attracted approximately 500 participants from 39 countries. Conference activities included keynote addresses from global water experts, a range of technical sessions, an International Policy Forum and a Regional Policy Forum, Industry Roundtable, poster session, and field trips to major groundwater and reservoir systems in proximity to the conference. A major conference output was the “Austin Declaration,” which can be accessed here. The conference proceedings will soon be available on the conference and ILEC websites in upcoming months

  • World Water Assessment Program (WWAP) – As a contribution to the 4th edition of the World Water Development Report (WWDR4) of the World Water Assessment Program (WWAP) of UN-Water, Walter Rast, IWS Director, was requested by the United Nations Educations, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Paris, to critically review and revise the sections of the WWDR4 discussing global water quality issues, and the regional environmental overview for Western Asia (Middle East). The WWDR4 report was launched at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseilles, France, during March 2012, and is being distributed widely to scientists, policymakers and governments throughout the world. An electronic copy of WWDR4 can be downloaded from the UN-Water website: