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Resounding Success For Canals Workshop

Hundreds of geosynthetics professionals from around the world tuned in to the IGS’s virtual workshop series on canals.

The three-day event organized by the IGS Technical Committee on Hydraulics (TC-H) with support from the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID), welcomed speakers addressing the theme ‘Improving the performance of canals with geosynthetics’. These included J.P. Giroud, Nathalie Touze, Hervé Plusquellec and Pietro Rimoldi.

The workshop series used Egypt’s current massive canal upgrade program as a focus, and was delighted to have in attendance the country’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Dr Mohamed Abdel Aty.

Egypt is currently retrofitting 10,000km of canals to boost efficiency and preserve its ability to be self-sufficient for food. This is especially important considering climate change and the projected rise of water scarcity in the region. The Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation gave a presentation during the symposium, explaining the issue and how it was being tackled with massive government investment.

The workshop series attracted high praise from a range of participants, including geosynthetics consultant Boyd Ramsey. He said the symposium was “an important contribution to the world and our industry”, adding: “The organizers should be proud of their accomplishments and contributions and know that they are well appreciated.”

Fellow participant and geosynthetics consultant Tom Sangster acknowledged the hard work needed to stage such an event, adding: “Congratulations to the organizers – as a technical event the webinars were a great success and a major contribution to the debate on the benefits of using geosynthetics for canal linings versus other materials.”

TC-H chairman Eric Blond, who coordinated and staged the workshop series, said: “The event was a huge success – more than 200 people attended each day from every continent, attracting mostly designers and owners/regulators, as well as suppliers.

“Many attendees congratulated us for the quality of the event and for being able to reach our target audience.

“We are also extremely grateful for the enthusiastic involvement of the Egyptian Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation and the attendance of His Excellency Dr. Abdel Aty, an impressive member of the Egyptian government who is devoted to finding an enduring solution to water management infrastructure issues in the country. We appreciate his time and attention during the symposium.”

The series was the latest in one of many collaborative events between the IGS and ICID. Following the workshops, the TC-H hosted a special session at the ICID annual conference in Marrakech, Morocco, and is due to contribute to ICID’s next annual conference in Adelaide, Australia, in October 2022, where the TC-H has a full day dedicated to geosynthetic technologies.

Mr Blond added: “The IGS is hugely grateful for the continued cooperation of ICID and its President Dr. Ragab Ragab. Together we can develop solutions to mitigate the global water crisis with the help of geosynthetics technologies, one unmissable educational event at a time.”

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Recordings of the webinars and most of the presentations are available on the TC-Hydraulics webpage here or in the IGS Digital Library here.