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8th International Conference on Rainwater Catchment Systems
"Rainwater Catchment for Survival"
Tehran, Iran - April 1997

Forward

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 1995 respectively.

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 and opinions.

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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