GWI attends National Centre for Flood Research Inaugural Symposium
The town and community of Lismore are unfortunately too familiar with the impacts of floods. On 2 October 2018, the Lismore community came together to host the inaugural flood symposium at the Southern Cross University Lismore campus, home of the National Centre for Flood Research.
The mission of the NCRF is to work in partnership to reduce the economic, social and ecological impact of flooding, through the application of best available knowledge from the social, environmental and engineering sciences. The Symposium attracted over 130 participants from including local and state government representatives and staff, famers, disaster response and emergency services personnel, planners, hydrologists, climatologists and engineers and researchers.
The agenda was comprised of thematic 'speed talks' , with morning panel discussions on 'Lessons from the Northern Rivers', 'Lessons from Government Perspectives' and an afternoon panel discussion on 'Where to from here?'
The Symposium was attended by GWI’s Professor Ashish Sharma, who gave a presentation titled Flood Hydrology – key research challenges. The presentation featured the work of Ashish and his former PhD student Conrad Wasko, recipient of the Lorenz G. Straub prize for most meritorious thesis in hydraulic engineering, hydrology, ecohydraulics, or related fields. Ashish gave a compelling overview of the current uncertainty in flood management. Specifically, while it is well established that rising temperatures are increasing precipitation extremes, the expected increase in flood magnitudes has not occurred. However, Ashish’s analysis has shown that only the overall frequency of floods has reduced while the occurrence of the rare, more catastrophic floods has increased.
The meeting was also attended by Grantley Smith, Manager and Principal Engineer at the Water Research Laboratory at Manly Vale. Grantley is an expert in the application of numerical models to catchments and floodplains, and was instrumental in the pioneering use of 2D hydrodynamic models for floodplain flow prediction and inundation mapping.