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PL1: Water and Global Changes.

Conveners: Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt.

Water demand, stress, and scarcity are increasing due to population growth, urbanization, land use change, climate change, and other drivers. Global water demand is increasing at approximately 1% per year. Both livelihoods of rural communities and food security of a predominantly urban population are therefore at risk from water-related impacts. Measures to suppress the Covid-19 pandemic, including handwashing, self-isolating, and lockdowns
assume that societies, communities, and households have sustainable access to acceptable amounts of water with adequate quality. Various adaptation measures dealing with global change, climate variability, building upon improved land, and water management practices have the potential to create resilience to global and climate changes. They imply a good understanding of the impacts on the available water resources, agricultural systems, policy choices, investments, and managerial changes.

PL2: Advances in Water Management.

Conveners: Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt.

With the rapid population growth in many areas all over the world, the demand for scarce water resources rises, and the gap between water supplies and demands increases. There is a major challenge of meeting this demand given scarce water resources and the future climate change impacts. Country strategies to deal with water shortages depend on local conditions, including topography, the extent of water scarcity, available financial resources, and technical and institutional capacity. Overall, developing a mix of strategies that increase supply, manage demand, and reduce long-term pressures on water is urgent more than ever before, as population pressures continue to increase. The gap between water supplies and demands may be alleviated by applying adaptive, integrated water management. A primary management objective is to improve productivity and increase water use efficiency. In the agricultural sector, this objective may be achieved using smart irrigation systems, drainage water reuse, and saline agriculture. In the urban water sector, a futuristic management approach is to apply artificial intelligence (AI) for optimization, automation, and decision-making. AI can aid in managing water loss and misuse in real-time, in designing and implementing reliable distribution networks, and in achieving financial targets.

PL3: Water and Society.

Conveners: Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt.

The rapidly growing interest in water security and risk mitigation has been accompanied by a focus on water’s relationship with society in terms of poverty and development in the context of the SDGs. The nature and sources of the global water crisis vary regionally across different patterns of demand, supply, infrastructure development, and governance. Understanding the nature of water crisis and the determinants of water insecurity are prerequisites to form a good DSS regarding institutional development and infrastructure investment. Water security is also considered as part of a web of interrelated concerns about energy, national, and food security. The links between water security and sustainability and between water security and economic growth have required indicators that account for interacting physical and human-driven hazards and causal processes. Pathways to water security consider the intervention or mix of interventions aimed at reducing the negative consequences of water-related hazards.

PL4: Regional and Sectoral Cooperation for Water Security.

Conveners: Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt.

Competition among uses and users of water is increasing in almost all countries. This competition for water could increasingly become a source of tension and conflict between states, sectors, and communities. However, water has also proven to be a productive pathway for confidence building, cooperation, and conflict prevention, and acting together toward a common end and mutual benefits. To ensure that water security and sustainability is achieved, concerted efforts must be made to promote water cooperation at river basin and local scales, including transboundary river basins, irrigation districts and cities. Cooperation is necessary to deal with major issues such as water allocation, upstream and downstream impacts of water pollution and water abstraction, construction and management of infrastructures such as dams, dealing with illegal abstractions and overexploitation of surface and groundwater, the financing issues, and improving water-related crisis management

PL5: Innovation in Hydro-Sciences.

Conveners: Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt.

The Human need to face progressive challenges of water scarcity and difficulties in managing water resources lead to historical wide varieties of innovations in hydro science and relevant technologies. Smart irrigation systems, desalination, renewable energy, water and wastewater treatment systems, advanced control systems are few examples for such physical innovations in almost all disciplines related to water and the environment. In addition, advances in computers and information technology provide a powerful tool in developing prediction models to handle huge amounts of data and information (including satellite images) as well as artificial intelligence. These progressing advances would enable researchers to interact with water management difficulties timely, effectively in a realistic manner. The theme covers innovations from different disciplines relevant to water resources and demands and the environment in terms of sustainability, management, as well as predicting impacts of engineering and technological interventions on social and economic environments.

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