Aquaterra 2007: Numerous Solutions for Climate Change Effects Presented
Amsterdam - Aquaterra 2007, the world forum on delta and coastal development, was an unqualified success. The three-day event in the Amsterdam RAI, held between 7 – 9 February, was visited 953 times by international conference delegates, speakers, expo visitors and press. Congress attendees and exhibition stand holders alike were impressed by the networking opportunities, international attendance and high quality of the speakers. And the forum presentations explored a variety of positive ways of tackling the effects of climate change around the world.
Aquaterra 2007 was opened by Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, chair of the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation. Taking the recent climate developments into account, the organisers created a programme intended to bring practical solutions a step closer. This included case studies on cities such as Shanghai, New Orleans, Singapore and the Californian delta, plus presentations on policy-sensitive environments such as Hamburg , London and Dordrecht.
The forum attracted a practical and consultancy oriented audience, keen to examine ways of managing and tackling climate in delta and coastal areas within the constraints of modern society. Key aspects herein were flexible and timely responses to developments and the development of innovative solutions.
According to Gaele Rodenhuis, Chairman of the International Advisory Committee of Aquaterra, the event clarified approaches to adapting to climate change. “The clear message was that people are not going to move from threatened areas, whether that be in the Netherlands or New Orleans. Ongoing development is important for a healthy economy, without which living conditions would deteriorate and nature conservation efforts would dry up.”
Another conclusion was that the costs of land reclamation are more than compensated for by the results. “As the volume of dredged material increases thanks to new equipment, the price per cubic metre is reduced at the same time as the cost per square metre of reclaimed ground rises,” Rodenhuis continues. “The Aquaterra case studies on cities such as Singapore, Shanghai and Rotterdam show that reclamation pays.”
Other Aquaterra presentations looked at how technological advances are facilitating the struggle against climate change effects, including the creation of islands in front of the coast and the development of rivers and lakes. “Such solutions are not only economically viable but can also be carried out in an ecologically responsible way,” Rodenhuis says. “The dredging industry is making great strides, and the Maasvlakte II development in Rotterdam proves how reclamation can go hand-in-hand with major nature conservation schemes.”
Aquaterra 2007 was supported by a wide range of industry leaders and organisations, including Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP), COST 22, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Environmental & Water Resources Institute (EWRI), International Water Association (IWA), Partners for Water, European Water Association (EWA), International Association of Hydraulic Engineering & Research (IAHR) and The Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute (COPRI). The next edition of Aquaterra is scheduled for February 2009.
Aquaterra is an international conference and exhibition on development in coastal and delta regions. It focuses on managing risks and creating opportunities to meet the challenges of deltaic and coastal development at all levels, from economic and financial to safety and planning issues. Exhibitors include consulting engineers, dredging and other contractors, equipment and materials suppliers, and companies from the service sector including finance and insurance.
Aquaterra is intended for advisors, consultants, contractors, project developers, civil and other engineers, water companies, research institutes, financial and insurance institutions, governments (international, national, regional and municipal), NGOs and port authorities. The event brings together government specialists, advisors, consultants, contractors, knowledge institutions and companies from all over the world.