The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), in cooperation with the German Government and the Geneva Water Hub, invited representatives from embassies, scientists and international stakeholders to help advance the water data and peace agenda.
The side event “The role of water in achieving climate neutrality”, organized by UN Water, presented and discussed the significance of freshwater for curbing climate change, its role in ecosystems, and for the livelihood of mankind.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) expressed its gratitude to Germany for hosting GRDC under the auspices of WMO over the past 30 years. The continuity to provide support to water resources management and climate services worldwide through the maintenance of repositories of data and information made available in accordance with WMO data policies was appreciated. GRDC has developed its data holdings into the most comprehensive global river discharge data archive supporting climate-related programmes and projects of the United Nations including their special organizations as well as scientific and research communities at large.
Furthermore, GRDC proved to be one of the key partners in developing digital infrastructure for global information and global support for water management as well as forecasting and warning services. Together with the GEMS/Water Data Centre (DC) and the coordination of the Global Terrestrial Network Hydrology (GTN-H) at the International Centre of Water Resources and Global Change (ICWRGC) the Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG) Koblenz serves as an operational global hub for WMO and other UN organizations (e.g. UNESCO, UN Environment, FAO) in the global freshwater sector.
Master’s student from the Technical University of Munich
Mihir Rambhia studies Environmental Engineering at the TUM, Germany, specialising in Water Resources Management and the Water-Food-Energy Nexus. Since 07.11.2018, Mihir has been part of the ICWRGC team, where he is involved in the MedECC project. He will write his master thesis on the “Past climate change impacts on water resources in the Mediterranean region“ until 06.05.2019. Mihir’s thesis is supervised by Dr. Marianela Fader (ICWRGC) and Prof. Dr. Markus Disse (TUM). Following his graduation, Mihir intends to pursue a doctoral degree and his research in environmental changes and their global impacts.
For one year, Blanca Torres Vara from Spain has been studying environmental and civil engineering at the TU Munich (TUM) within the scope of a joint master programme with the Technical University of Madrid.
SDG 6.3.2 Technical Feedback Meeting
Dublin, Ireland, 2 – 3 October 2018
From 2 – 3 October 2018, the GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre (UCC, Cork, Ireland) hosted the SDG 6.3.2 Technical Feedback Meeting at Custom House, Dublin, Ireland. This was the first meeting of its kind to review the methodology of an SDG indicator. Approximately 30 water quality experts from 16 countries attended, including representatives of countries which reported on the indicator, representing all world regions.
The main objective of the meeting was to collect experiences made by the individual countries and provide guidance for the continued improvement of the SDG indicator 6.3.2 methodology (“Proportion of bodies of water with good ambient water quality”) in preparation for the next data drive scheduled for 2021. The feedback focused on seven key aspects, which turned out to be most challenging for the implementing partners in 2017. The results will feed into a report with recommendations on the best way to move forward.
The meeting was kindly hosted by the Irish Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and Irish Aid of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade attended. Additional funding was provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU) to support global participation.
The International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change was represented during the meeting by the coordinator of the GEMS/Water Data Center, Philipp Saile.
Dipl. Geol. Harald Köthe succeeds Prof. Dr. Demuth as the Director of the International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change (ICWRGC)
Most recently, Mr. Köthe worked as a senior government official at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) in the department “Climate, Environmental Protection, Hydrology, BfG “. Here, he was responsible for the technical supervision of the BfG and the WSV (Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration). In the department, he initiated and headed i.a. the KLIWAS research programme and paved the way for the BMVI expert network. He has left his mark on the hydrology of the WSV for more than 10 years and established the task “adaptation to climate change”. Moreover, he was Chairman of the Environmental Committee (EnviCom) of PIANC for 10 years, where he made the world’s oldest organisation for shipping and waterways infrastructure fit to tackle the new challenges facing navigable waters in the wake of global change. Under his direction, numerous practical international recommendations have been developed and published. Harald Köthe also acted as German representative in the Environmental Committee of CEDA and was actively involved in the development of the European network SedNet. Furthermore, his scope of experience includes a leading function in the field of oil spill response in the oceans and an active involvement in national and European Committees. Harald Köthe provides a wealth of water-related and practice-oriented experience plus a broad national and international network from the realm of ministries, technical authorities and science.
He studied geology at the university of Bonn and already worked at the BfG as a scientific officer in various departments and functions from 1988 to 2004. In his new function, Mr. Köthe will now contribute his wide-ranging experiences to the work of the ICWRGC.
Prof. Dr. Siegfried Demuth, Director of the International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change (ICWRGC), located at the Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG) in Koblenz, Germany, will retire on 01 September 2018.
Prof. Demuth joined the ICWRGC as director in 2015 with over three decades of experience in international research and project management. His research focused on low flows and droughts in a changing climate, arid zone hydrology and regionalization.
Under his leadership, the Centre grew considerably in terms of staff, project acquisition and cooperation, visibility and responsibilities. He led the consolidation of a research agenda around international water quality issues, and impacts of global change in different regions of the world.
Prof. Demuth has started and strengthened long-term collaboration with German ministries, UN organizations, and universities, significantly promoting the link between German institutions and the rest of the world. Promoting the good cooperation between the ICWRGC and the BfG, also by means of new projects, has always been a special concern of his.
With Siegfried Demuth’s departure, his team and his colleagues will miss a wonderful boss and a true leadership personality with an excellent international reputation. “We thank him for his achievements and wish him all the best for his future endeavours”, says Dr. Birgit Esser, Director of the Federal Institute of Hydrology.