October 20, 2016
2016 FloodNet Annual General Meeting (AGM)
On September 19th, the FloodNet Annual General Meeting was held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Vaughan, Ontario. This annual event is an opportunity to bring together the researchers, scientists, engineers, and water resource managers engaged in FloodNet from all levels of government and the private sector to discuss the current progress of the research program.
FloodNet is a multi-disciplinary research network, funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), with active end-user involvement and contributions from partners in government agencies, industry, and Canadian universities. This provides one of the most advanced organizations in the world, in terms of human and technical capital, the capacity to deal with issues related to floods. FloodNet’s research team is addressing research problems that can be divided into four themes – these themes cover a wide range of topics including the study of the climatology, hydrology, forecasting and risks associated with flooding.
- Theme 1 – Flood Regimes in Canada: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future
- Theme 2 – Quantifying and Reducing the Predictive Uncertainty of Floods
- Theme 3 – Development of Canadian Adaptive Flood Forecasting and Early Warning System (CAFFEWS) – Projects
- Theme 4 – Risk Analysis of Physical, Socio-Economic, and Environmental Impacts of Floods.
The agenda for this year’s AGM (program available here) included a warm welcome from the Scientific Director Dr. Paulin Coulibaly (McMaster University), as well as from the Chair of the Board of Directors Dr. Alain Pietroniro. At this year’s event, there were a total of 33 oral presentations and 16 posters presented with lots of opportunity for discussion and interaction. Presentations from project leads and students were delivered throughout both days of the meeting, as well as a keynote presentation by Dr. Pedro Restrepo (available presentations can be found here). The value to the attendees this year was not only found in the exposure to the technical work being conducted, but the also the large opportunity for face-to-face interactions between researchers and practitioners from institutions across Canada. It is a rare occasion for forecasters, engineers, managers and researchers from across Canada to share ideas and practices specifically on the important topic of flooding.
The FloodNet team considers that this years’ AGM was very successful, with nearly 100 registered participants from academia, government and the private sector. Now that two years of the FloodNet program have passed, it is possible for them to see where relationships have formed and the comfort that exists between researchers and network partners. When compared to the first AGM, it was obvious that more individuals felt as if they were a part of the FloodNet community, which lead to a greater willingness to ask questions and have meaningful conversations about flood management in Canada.
One of the messages the FloodNet team heard loud and clear from the community was the need for a forum for interaction and integration of practices, tools, and data access across the country. This forum would be beyond the scope of FloodNet, but they are very excited to have played a role in sparking those conversations. FloodNet looks forward to joining this initiative and providing knowledge and tools to support the flood management community across the country.