Workshop Objectives

1st IFAC Workshop on Control Methods for Water Resource Systems CMWRS2019

In the world of today society places heavy demands on the environment in general and water resources in particular. Waterways support a range of services including agriculture from irrigation, ecosystems, transport, local communities, and social amenities. Climate change interferes with the supply of water, so regulation of the water level to balance irrigation and environmental needs and keep the rivers navigable is of increasing importance.

Sea level rise and more intense precipitation events increase the risk of flooding for which more active control solutions are needed. Achieving proper irrigation and drainage is becoming more and more difficult. If we add in the problems of drinking water supply and the role of water resources in power generation, and the need for a healthy urban and rural environment, then it is clear that every drop of water must perform many different tasks.

Assessment of opportunities and constraints around the management of water resource systems requires therefore an integrated systems approach that takes into account the important drivers and impacts of the system of interest. These systems are exceedingly complex: they contain nonlinearities, time delays, event-driven and longer-term components. Engineers and scientists working on control theory can find many challenges here. The demands placed on these systems are equally complex: today a water system that serves just one purpose is rare.

They are open systems, influenced by many biophysical and human processes beyond our control, so we need to adapt to a changing environment and understand how these systems function. Moreover, the proper functioning of some of these systems can be a matter of life and death, which implies robustness is of the utmost importance.

Finally, we live in a world where inequality grows. Not just inequality of income, but also with respect to access to clean water, a healthy environment to live and raise children in, and access to a healthy and varied diet.