International Conference on Rainwater Catchment Systems
Catchment for Survival"
Tehran, Iran - April 1997
Dr. Bahrain Aminipouri
Chairman of Scientific and Reviewing Committee and Chief for the Editing Group
IN THE NAME OF GOD
The collection, storage and utilization of rainwater, together
with soil and water conservation by different methods, have been one of the top
subjects of discussion for a long time since. Rainwater provides water for drinking,
domestic, and agricultural purposes, also for rehabilitating natural resources
for thousands of years. Two thousand five hundred years ago, one of the most important
innovations and inventions registered by Iranian scientists in the world, was
the design and construction of the subterranean channels called Qanat. These channels
were also considered as the foundation and the scientific system for providing
water in dry regions.
Today, nations all over the world are continuously trying to
control desertification, restore dry and desert regions, artificial recharge of
groundwater, controlling flood damages and all other related problems of soil
and water waste, by applying modern and traditional methods in rainwater harvesting.
These techniques are specifically important for the permanent use of the two vital
sources - water and soil.
It is necessary to apply rainwater harvesting methods correctly
by having a good working knowledge of water and soil conservation, along with
a good watershed management.
It can actually be said that in most of the regions of the world,
there is a good knowledge and understanding of the importance of rainwater collection
and storage method. The importance of the subject made necessary the establishment
of the International Rainwater Catchment Systems Association. This association,
up to now, has organized seven international and four regional conferences all
over the world. Today, the outcome of these conferences help to solve the problems
of providing water to villages and cities, soil and water conservation, development
of sustainable agriculture, controlling floods and their destruction feature,
preventing desertification, and finally promoting every detailed good scientific
aspect of watershed management in detail, all over the world.
The first International conference was held in Hawaii in 1982.
Taking into consideration its precious outcomes, every other two years such a
kind of conferences were organized in the Virgin Islands of the US, Thailand,
Philippines, Taiwan, Kenya, China in the years 1984, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, and
Due to the active presence of the scientists and researchers
of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the previous conferences and China Conference
as well, the executive and scientific board IRCSA (International Rainwater Catchment
Systems Association), after several discussions, finally voted I.R. Iran to host
the 8th Conference of 1997.
The Eighth International Conference has the theme of " Rainwater
Catchment for survival " . The purpose of this conference is to bring together
scientists and end users together, and to present recent advances in rainwater
catchment systems to exchange information on strategies for improving the operations
of rainwater catchment systems, and for providing a forum for discussions and
contacts for all people concerned. Rainwater harvesting for renewable natural
resources, desertification control, soil conservation, water resources development,
floodwater harvesting, artificial recharge of groundwater, and sustainable agriculture,
have been associated with the theme of the Conference. It was also designed to
focus on future research needs and applications of rainwater catchment systems,
as well as to assess the achievements.
Responses to our call for papers for the Eighth International
Conference was overwhelming. The organizing committee finally decided to print
submitted papers in three volumes. These papers report original work conducted
in fifty countries. Consequently, the papers prepared for this Conference represent
an excellent review of the state of the art of rainwater catchment systems researches
made throughout the world.
I would hereby like to take this opportunity in expressing my
gratitude to all of the referees and reviewers, from Iran and around the world;
but in particular to those from the Soil Conservation, and Watershed Management
Research Center, of the Ministry of Jihad-e-Sazandegi Iran, without whose efforts
this proceeding would not have been accomplished. I am also deeply appreciative
of the many authors who exactly followed the detailed guidelines provided for
manuscript preparation, who were on time in submitting their manuscripts, and
without whose cooperation our preparations would unendurable.
A considerable quantity of full papers were received which had
not been prepared according the guidelines. All such papers were edited and typed
accordingly. My sincere thanks extend to all who have been involved in editing
and typing. Even if any typing of rearrangement errors might be observed, it would
be greatly appreciated if we are informed of the same. The Conference Organizing
Committee will make further efforts to re-edit and to re-publish the proceedings
formally after the Conference.
While the editing group have endeavored to have the papers refereed,
amended and checked, the authors are responsible for the accuracy of their comments
The editors do not accept responsibility for any erroneous comments
or opinions expressed therein.
There is no doubt, that the conference of 1997 in Iran, besides
the fact that it could increase scientific achievements, exchange experiments
and inventions, taking into account the importance of soil and water conservation,
watershed management and the rehabilitation of natural resources in the country,
it could also give the opportunity for the country to highlight its scientific
capacities and honor the sacred name of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
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