Conference Report

Rivers’04 was organized by River Engineering and Urban Drainage Research Centre (REDAC), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) as the first conference in the series of triennial International Conference on Managing Rivers in the 21st Century for the purpose of providing a major forum to researchers and engineers from national and international levels to present and exchange their views on the latest research issues and application methods to solve existing problems related to rivers in Malaysia and worldwide. 150 participants from seven countries (Malaysia, Iran, UK, Australia, Finland, India, USA) attended the three-day conference. The official opening of Rivers’04 was made by His Excellency the Head of State of Penang on 21st September 2004. A special publication on a pilot project on Urban Storm Water Management called “Bio-Ecological Drainage System (BIOECODS)” was launched by His Excellency during the official opening ceremony. Also, Prof. Roger Falconer, a council member of IAHR graciously launched the IAHR Student Chapter – Universiti Sains Malaysia, the first of its kind in the Far East. The founding committee members of the IAHR SC – USM are Mr. Abd. Jalil Hasan (President), Mr. Mohamad Ansar Derani (Vice President), Mr. Chang Chun Kiat (Secretary), and Mohd Fazly Yusof (Treasurer).

Government agencies and research institutions at national level and a prestigious international professional society supported this conference. These include: Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID), Malaysia, Malaysian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (MANCID), Humid Tropics Centre (HTC), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI), National Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia (NAHRIM), and International Association of Hydraulic Engineering and Research (IAHR).

Rivers’04 highlighted issues dealing with managing rivers such as flash flood, urban drainage, water scarcity, water pollution, catchment management, and river conservation. The challenge ahead in managing rivers remain to be evaluated and applied so as to preserve the natural environment of existing rivers in recognition of the developments that are coming to river basins. Among the challenges ahead are designing a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS), River Restoration by applying “Back to Nature” approach, and Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM). As such the four Keynote Speakers who are renowned experts from national and international levels namely Prof. Roger A. Falconer (Cardiff University, UK), Prof. Pierre Y. Julien (Colorado State University, USA), Datuk Ir. Hj. Keizrul Abdullah (President, International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, ICID), and Prof. Chan Ngai Weng (Water Watch Penang, WWP) opened Rivers’04 with their Keynote Addresses on the subjects of Sustainable Management, River Restoration and Environmental Modeling in River Basin Management.

The presented papers were published into two parts: a Book of Proceedings and the CD-ROM Proceedings. Both contain 75 papers selected from 100 abstract submissions, covering the four major topics: River Hydraulics & Hydrology (30 papers), River Management (27 papers), River Modeling (12 papers), and Case study (6 papers). These papers were presented by authors in five technical sessions divided into three parallel sessions. 30% of the papers are from international participants whereas the rest 70% from local participants including those from research institutions, NGOs and government agencies.

Two technical visits were also conducted during the second day of the conference. The first visit was to the BIOECODS project at the USM Engineering Campus. The participants were able to see themselves the application of several options of Best Management Practices (BMPs) in urban storm water management to reduce flash flood, water scarcity and water pollution. The second visit was to the USM Marine Research centre at Muka Head.


Download: Conference Report [IAHR Newsletter]


       21st - 23rd September 2004 @ Mutiara Beach Resort, Penang, Malaysia