< Vienna Catchment Science Symposium 2013
24.01.2013 14:17 Age: 5 yrs

Seminar series


Seminar series of the Vienna Doctoral Programme on Water Resource Systems

 

The Doctoral Programme is priviliged to host international experts from the wide variety of discipines covered by Programme researchers. Here you find the details of past and future seminars.  

 

Date:    Thursday 8 August, 2013 at 16:00
Venue:    Seminarraum 222, 3rd Floor
at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Karlsplatz 13, Vienna
Speaker:    Dr. Itay Fishhendler, Department of Geography, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Title:    Institutional arrangements that address uncertainty in international water negotiations and projects
Abstract:    Water management inherently entails addressing uncertainty, given the stochastic nature of both supply and demand. Uncertainties affect both physical dimensions of water supply, such as precipitation patterns, as well as social aspects, including investment and technological development. A host of uncertainties also affect water demand,including economic development, changes in preferences, and cross-elasticities for other goods. Climate change adds uncertainties to water forecasting as it affects a wide range of both supply and demand side aspects of water management, as well as the provision of ecosystem services. The variety of uncertainties and the challenge these pose is compounded in a transboundary setting. Policymakers in a transboundary setting deal with uncertainty regarding the preferences and behavior of riparian states and negotiating partners, which are exacerbated under conditions of conflict and mistrust between parties. Academics have long stressed the need for developing robust strategies to address uncertainties in international water agreements and institutions. Such strategies need to perform well over a wide range of different scenarios. With this need for robustness in mind we can differentiate between at least four different strategies that have been employed in water institutions in order to deal with uncertainties: (i) a strategy of ignoring uncertainty, (ii) a strategy of complete contracts, (iii) a strategy of reducing uncertainty, and (iv) an open-ended approach. This paper, based on three quantitative case studies, examines the frequency of use of these four strategies in international water  negotiations. Then it uses these results to discuss the political feasibility on these four generic strategies to address uncertainties in water negotiations over mega projects, water supply and conflict resolution.  The first case is analyzing the expanded Transboundary Freshwater Dispute Database (TFDD), which the most comprehensive source of transboundary water agreements that meet the criteria. The second one takes the Israeli-Palestinian Annapolis round and post-Annapolis negotiations as a case study. The third one traces the strategies used to market the Dead Sea Canal (along the Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian border), in face of multiple uncertainties this mega project faces.
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Date:    Thursday 16 May, 2013 at 17:00
Venue:    Seminarraum 222, 3rd Floor
at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Karlsplatz 13, Vienna
Speaker:    Dr. Severin Hohensinner, Institute of Hydrobiology & Aquatic Ecosystem Management (IHG), University of Natural Resources & Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU), Austria
Title:    Historical evidence on the past morphology and hydrology of the Austrian Danube River

Abstract:    Many historical sources provide information that allows conclusions to be drawn from an historical, river morphological, hydrological and ecological point of view. The reconstruction of past fluvial dynamics or the consequences of hydraulic constructions is often difficult, because the diverse sources are too different in type or show only fragmented information. The presentation highlights selected examples of new findings about the historical hydromorphological characteristics of the Austrian Danube River based on historical sources. The focus is on the former river landscape in today’s Vienna and on the Machland, a still rural Danube section 160 km upstream from Vienna.
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Date:    Friday 11 January, 2013 at 14:00
Venue:    Seminarraum 222, 3rd Floor
at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Karlsplatz 13, Vienna
Speaker:    Dr. Oliver Wetter, University of Bern, Institute of Economic-, Social- and Environmental History
Title:    Reconstruction and peak discharge quantification of pre instrumental (High-Rhine) river flood events of the last 750 years
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Date:    Thursday 11 October 2012 at 16:00
Venue:    Seminarraum 222, 3rd Floor
at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Karlsplatz 13, Vienna
Speaker:    Dr. Christian Griebler, Helmholtz Zentrum München
Title:    Ecological assessment of groundwater ecosystems – vision or illusion?
Abstract:    Today the assessment of the ecological status of surface waters is routine and found its way into national and international (European Water Framework Directive) regulations. For groundwater and aquifers a comparable approach is still missing. In contrast, groundwater monitoring and management schemes follow exclusively physical-chemical and quantitative criteria. However, groundwater systems are, although persistently neglected, ecosystems harbouring diverse communities of microorganisms and invertebrates. Consequently, goal of the project was to design a first concept of an ecologically sound assessment scheme for groundwater systems, taking biological criteria into account. In the course of the project six steps to a first evaluation scheme have been proposed and followed; i.e. (1) the selection of appropriate parameters, (2) to inventory at selected sites, (3) the search for an ecologically sound groundwater systems typology, (4) deduction of natural background values and definition of reference conditions, (5) the identification of sensitive criteria and bioindicators, and (6) a first evaluation model. Groundwater of more than 100 wells has been analyzed repeatedly. The wells have been distributed within five investigation areas spread all over Germany. The investigated sites could be assigned to different typologies, such as natural regions, geological regions, hydrogeological units, and aquifer types. The mismatch of groundwater communities with the established classification schemes led to the proposal of ‘stygoregions’ for Germany. Moreover, the project identified a number of microbial and faunistic assessment criteria, tested them, and deduced their natural background in ecologically intact groundwater systems. Finally, a tiered framework for assessing groundwater ecosystem status which allows an easy and fast evaluation is introduced.
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Date:    Friday, 15 June 2012 at 10:00am
Venue:    Seminarraum 222, 3rd Floor
at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Karlsplatz 13, Vienna
Speaker:    Prof Majid Hassanizadh, Utrecht University, Netherlands
Title:    Transport of Viruses in Partially Saturated Soil and Groundwater
Abstract:    Darcy Lecture 2012

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Date:    Tuesday, 12 June 2012 at 16:00
Venue:    Seminarraum 222, 3rd Floor
at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Karlsplatz 13, Vienna
Speaker:    Prof Michael Getzner, Vienna University of Technology
Title:    Economic values of river restoration
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Date:    Tuesday, 27 March, 2012 at 10:30
Venue:    Seminarraum 222, 3rd Floor
at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Karlsplatz 13, Vienna
Speaker:    Prof. Marc Parlange, Laboratory of Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL, Switzerland
Title:    Land-atmosphere interaction over complex terrain
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Date:    Wednesday, 15 February, 2012 at 16:00
Venue:    Seminarraum 122, at the Institute of Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing,  Gußhausstraße 27 - 29, Vienna
Speaker:    Dr. Patrick Matgen, Department of Environment and Agro-biotechnologies, Public Research Centre-Gabriel Lippmann, Luxembourg
Title:    Surface and subsurface water from space: on the integration of microwave remote sensing observations with flood prediction systems
Abstract:    The technique of active microwave remote sensing has made much progress toward its high potential to monitor water storage changes in terrestrial surface and subsurface water bodies at various spatial and temporal scales. The number of studies demonstrating the support these data can offer in hydrological and hydraulic model building, model calibration and model updating is growing rapidly. While there is no doubt that this technological progress has already brought new insights into hydrology and hydraulics, there are still several issues that require attention. The questions to answer are: (1) How to add value to ‘raw’ remote sensing data for hydrological applications, (2) how to combine remote sensing techniques with hydrologic-hydraulic models for improved predictions, and (3) how to evolve irregular and intermittent remote sensing-based applications into systematic services? The first question deals with the adequate data processing to retrieve meaningful information about hydrological/hydraulic variables (e.g. soil moisture, water elevation). The second question deals with the effective integration of remote sensing-derived information and in situ data with adequate models, either offline for model building and calibration or online via assimilation for model updating. The third question focuses on an efficient production, processing and distribution of satellite data and the development of new services that may help to advance operational water resources management. This presentation introduces recent activities at the Centre de Recherche Public – Gabriel Lippmann (Luxembourg) dealing with these three research questions.
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Date:    Thursday 27 Oct, 2011 at 16.00
Venue:    Seminarraum 222, 3rd Floor
at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Karlsplatz 13, Vienna
Speaker:    Prof. Mark C. Rains, Department of Geology, University of South  Florida, USA
Title:    Water Sources and Hydrodynamics of Closed-Basin Depressions, Cook Inlet Region, Alaska
Abstract:    Among the most prevalent wetland and deepwater habitats in Alaska are ponds, many of which are subarctic ponds occurring as moraine, ice-scour, or dead-ice depressions. Many are closed-basin depressions, where surface-water inflows and outflows are negligible. The objective of this study was to quantify the water sources and hydrodynamics of these subarctic ponds, particularly with respect to the role they play in groundwater recharge. There are two types of ponds on the study site. Perched-precipitation ponds have inflows by melt water and direct precipitation, outflows by evapotranspiration and groundwater recharge, and are seasonally inundated because surface water is perched above the water table and infiltration through the low-permeability surficial deposits to the water table is slow. Flow-through ponds have inflows by melt water, direct precipitation, and groundwater discharge, outflows by evapotranspiration and groundwater recharge, and are perennially inundated because of groundwater throughflow. Both are groundwater recharge focal points. This is particularly true for perched-precipitation ponds, where net groundwater recharge rates were 215% larger than in flow-through ponds, and 332% larger than in the broader landscape. Most of the additional groundwater recharge occurs immediately following breakup, as Aeolian transported snow trapped in the depressions melts which results in enhanced groundwater recharge rates.
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Date:    Friday 23 Sept, 2011 at 10.00
Venue:    Seminarraum 222, 3rd Floor
at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Karlsplatz 13, Vienna
Speaker:    Prof. Dr. Peter Wilderer, Department of Civil Engineering and Surveying, Technische Universität München, Germany
Title:    Interfacial Water Research – the Ultimate Challenge of Early Career Scholars
Abstract:    Peter Wilderer is one of the leading experts on hydraulic management in Germany. The first German academic to win the Stockholm Water Prize in 2003, he has been awarded countless other honours both within Germany and around the world. The scope of his research reaches from innovative methods of water acquisition and waste water recycling through the ecology of microbial systems to the reclamation of useful material in waste water and other waste products. During this seminar he will talk about Interfacial Water Research – the Ultimate Challenge of Early Career Scholars.  
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Date:    05/05/2011 at 10.30
Venue:    Seminar Room 225, Karlsplatz 13, 2nd Floor, Steige 1
Speaker:    Ronald W. Harvey, National Research Program U.S. Geological Survey, Boulder, Colorado, USA
Title:    Small-scale injection and recovery studies to examine bacterial transport processes within a sandy, drinking-water aquifer
Abstract:    The presentation will focus on the use of small-scale injection-and-recovery studies to assess in-situ the transport, re-entrainment, survival, and adaptations of indigenous and non-indigenous microorganisms in drinking water aquifers.  Re-entrainment of bacteria previously labeled with a DNA-specific fluorescent dye (DAPI) that were allowed to attach within sandy aquifer sediments was compared to that of bacteria-sized, carboxylate-modified microspheres.  Release at depth in response to subsequent hydrodynamic perturbations (change in flow velocity) and injections of deionized water (ionic strength reduction) and modest concentrations (76-77 ?M) of common surface water contaminants, including the anionic surfactants, linear alkylbenzene sulfonates (LAS) and the non-ionic surfactant polyoxyethylene sorbitan monooleate (Tween 80) indicate differing patterns of re-entrainment for the two colloids  Deionized water and anionic surfactants were the most efficient in causing detachment of the highly hydrophilic and negatively charged microspheres, but largely ineffective in causing re-entrainment of bacteria.  In contrast, the nonionic surfactant was highly effective in re-entraining bacteria, but not microspheres. The presentation will also briefly cover injection-and-recovery studies designed to assess changes in bacterial carrying capacity and changes in community composition, metabolic status, and ecological function in response to injections of low levels of the common antibiotic Sulfamethoxazole.
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Date:    22/03/2011 at 16.00
Venue:    Seminar Room 2063, Karlsplatz 13, 2nd Floor, Steige 3
Speaker:    Prof. Thorsten Wagener, Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, USA
Title:    Towards a new hydrologic modeling framework for predictions in ungauged basins and for climate change impact projections
Abstract:    The use of mathematical models to reflect the functional behavior of hydrological systems for example at the watershed scale is fundamental to most research and operational aspects of hydrology. Despite decades of research into optimal strategies for model identification and evaluation, we have still not achieved our ultimate aim, i.e. to develop models that reflect the (relevant) functional behavior of the hydrological system under study and can be applied everywhere (even without possibility for calibration!) (see Wagener et al., 2010). Most modeling strategies currently applied are still rooted in the tradition of statistical regression and rely on the availability of historical observations of the watershed response (e.g. streamflow) for calibration. Such observations are by definition not available in the context of predictions in ungauged basins or for long-term projections of climate change impacts. In this talk we will outline how signatures (indices of hydrologic function) can be regionalized and assimilated into a hydrological model in a Bayesian framework to reduce predictive uncertainty in ungauged basins and to consider how the watershed behavior will change in a changing climate. Initial results suggest that the incorporation of signatures in PUB leads to a significant reduction in uncertainty, while the considerations of signatures in change projections can lead to significantly different results compared to models calibrated to historical data.
 
Reference
Wagener, T., Sivapalan, M., Troch, P.A., McGlynn, B.L., Harman, C.J., Gupta, H.V., Kumar, P., Rao, P.S.C., Basu, N.B. and Wilson, J.S. 2010. The future of hydrology: An evolving science for a changing world. Water Resources Research, 46, W05301, doi:10.1029/2009WR008906.
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Date:    22/12/2010 at 14.00
Venue:    Seminarraum 222, 3rd Floor
at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Karlsplatz 13, Vienna
Speaker:    Dr. Gerrit H. de Rooij, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Department for Soil Physics, Germany.
Title:    Catchment hydrology in lowlands: what to do if the phreatic surface is hillier than the landscape
Abstract:    Lowland catchments are often intensively used for agriculture and can have an elaborate network of drain tubes and ditches. Their high nutrient input from fertilizer and manure and the efficiency of the drainage network in removing excess water from the land combine to create severe nutrient loading of the surface water within the catchment and downstream from the catchment exit.
We instrumented a catchment with the specific target to unravel the various flow routes a rain drop can follow from the soil surface to the stream. It proved particularly challenging to capture the fastest flow routes (overland flow) because they generated short, sharp spikes that can easily escape detection. Because it is not realistic to place sensors everywhere in the catchment we resorted to a nested-scale approach, with the emphasis at the field scale on measuring fluxes towards the ditch, and on frequent measurements of surface water flux and quality at the subcatchment and catchment scales.  The presentation will highlight the most important features of the measurement network and the observation strategy.
In order to make use of the data, we needed to make the field-scale data applicable to the catchment. Furthermore, the dynamics of the drainage network owing to groundwater level variations that made drain tubes and ditches dry up caused massive changes in the flow routes towards the surface water: as soon as a ditch dried up, the subsurface travel distance towards the stream water of nearby subsurface water increased by tens if not hundreds of meters. We developed an elegant albeit elaborate procedure to model the discharge generation process at the catchment scale taking into account these dynamics, which will be discussed in some detail.
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Date:    09/09/2010 at 16.00
Venue:    Seminarraum 222, 3rd Floor
at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Karlsplatz 13, Vienna
Speaker:    Prof. Andrew Western, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Melbourne, Australia
Title:    Surface water – groundwater interaction in two parts: losses in the desert and feedbacks
Abstract:    Groundwater in Australia is both an important resource and implicated in land and stream Salinisation.  Understanding the relationships between surface and groundwater is an important hydrological problem with implications for management of the resource and Salinisation.  This seminar will describe results from the following two projects.  1)    Estimating diffuse groundwater discharge from the Great Artesian Basin.  This work involves using hydrochemical, hydrometric and remote sensing techniques to estimate losses of groundwater in diffuse discharge areas associated with mound springs in the arid zone of South Australia.  The challenges of working in data poor settings and the trials and tribulations of utilizing new data sources such as remote sensing will be covered. 2)    Multiple Hydrological Steady States and Resilience.  This work from Dr Tim Peterson’s PhD and subsequent projects explores the role feedbacks in surface water – groundwater interaction in landscapes with saline soils or groundwater.  Resilience concepts and potential impacts of positive feedbacks in the hydrologic system will be explored through numerical modelling, which shows that multiple stable states are possible in surface water - groundwater systems under reasonable hydrologic process assumptions.  The impacts of stochastic forcing of such systems will also be examined.
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Date:    24/6/2010 at 16.00
Venue:    Seminarraum 2063, Karlsplatz 13, 2nd Floor, Steige 3
Speaker:    Prof. Dan M. Frangopol, Lehigh University, ATLSS Research Center, USA
Title:     Integrated Reliability-Based Life-Cycle Optimization Framework for Maintenance and Monitoring of Aging Structures: Applications to Bridges and Naval Ships
Abstract:    Our knowledge to model, analyze, design, maintain, monitor, manage, predict and optimize the life-cycle performance of structures and infrastructures under uncertainty is continually growing. However, in many countries, including the United States, the civil infrastructure is no longer within desired levels of performance and safety. Decisions regarding infrastructure systems should be supported by an integrated reliability-based life-cycle multi-objective optimization framework by considering, among other factors, the likelihood of successful performance and the total expected cost accrued over the entire life-cycle. The primary objective of this lecture is to highlight recent accomplishments in the life-cycle performance assessment, maintenance, monitoring, management and optimization of aging structural systems under uncertainty. Applications of the proposed integrated framework to life-cycle management of existing bridges and naval ships are presented and discussed.
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Date:    22/6/2010 at 15.00
Venue:    Seminarraum 222, 3rd Floor
at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Karlsplatz 13, Vienna
Speaker:    Dr. Markus Venohr, Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin, Germany
Title:     Nutrient balance in river systems using MONERIS
Abstract:    For further information please see:  http://moneris.igb-berlin.de/

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Date:    Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 14:00
Venue:    Seminarraum 222, at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management
Speaker:    Prof. Ross Woods, National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA), New Zealand
Title:     Similarity variables for hydrology: A seasonal snow model
Abstract:    The seasonal development and depletion of snow cover is a visible and widespread feature of large areas of the earth’s surface.  Snow plays a major role in the terrestrial water and energy balance especially in the northern hemisphere, with major climatic, economic, ecological and cultural significance. To improve understanding of the key drivers of the seasonal snowpack, we formulate and solve an analytical model of seasonal snowpack dynamics, by assuming a simple temperature index model for the snowpack, driven by purely seasonal climate forcing.  Three dimensionless variables control the modeled system: one to indicate the temperature regime, one for the seasonality of both temperature and precipitation, and one for the mean precipitation rate relative to a characteristic melt rate. The purpose of the model is to provide insight into the relative roles of the mean and seasonality of temperature, the mean and seasonality of precipitation, and the melt factor, in controlling snow climatology.  The model can be used to make broad-scale predictions of the climatology of seasonal snow water storage, and its sensitivity to climate. Particular variables of interest include the maximum seasonal snow storage, the start and end of the snow accumulation period, and the time of year at which the snowpack is completely melted. The model makes useful uncalibrated predictions at six widely separated sites in the western USA which have a continuous seasonal snowpack. When applied to several hundred sites in Austria, the model makes poor uncalibrated predictions. We explore the reasons for this, generalise the model to account for within-season variability of temperature, re-evaluate the model, and discuss unresolved challenges.
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Date:    Friday, April 9, 2010 at 13:00
Venue:    Seminarraum 222, at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management
Speaker:    Dr. Murray Peel, University of Melbourne, Australia
Title:    Recent research: Vegetation impact on mean annual catchment evapotranspiration & a contribution toward doing hydrology backwards
Abstract:    Historically, relationships between catchment vegetation type, evapotranspiration and runoff have been assessed primarily through paired catchment studies. The literature contains results from over 200 of these studies from around the world but two factors limit the applicability of the results to the wider domain. Firstly, catchment areas are generally small (<10 km2). Secondly, the range of climate types is narrow, with temperate (Köppen C) and cold (Köppen D) climate types in the majority. Here we present results from a global assessment of the impact of vegetation type on mean annual catchment evapotranspiration for a large, spatially and climatically diverse dataset of 699 catchments. Overall, the results presented are consistent with those from reviews of paired catchment studies. However, the value of a diverse hydroclimatic dataset for assessing the vegetation impact on evapotranspiration is clearly demonstrated. Based on the methodology of Kirchner (2009, WRR W02429), we examined catchment dynamic storage and recession time scales and estimated catchment average precipitation and evapotranspiration using hourly discharge data. The analysis was applied to a small moist temperate forested catchment (Myrtle Creek) located east of Melbourne, Australia. In contrast to the Plynlimon experimental catchments, where Kirchner tested his methodology, the storage-discharge relationship for Myrtle Creek varied both within and between years and the hourly streamflow recessions exhibited strong diurnal patterns. These hydrologic features confounded our application of Kirchner’s method in this catchment. Following modification, we were able to successfully apply a modified Kirchner methodology to the Myrtle Creek catchment, which allowed us to estimate recharge to and evapotranspiration from the saturated zone based only on the hourly hydrograph. We conclude that a modified version of Kirchner’s approach can be applied successfully to a small moist temperate forested catchment.
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Date    Tuesday March 23, at 16:00
Venue    Seminarraum 222, at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management
Speaker    Prof. Regina Sommer, Medical University Vienna, Institute of Hygiene and Applied Immunology, Water Hygiene
Title:    Water disinfection: Principles and Goals
    
    
Date:    Wednesday Feb 17, 2010 at 10:00
Venue:    Seminarraum 122 at IPF
Speaker:    Prof. Luca Brocca, L'Istituto di Ricerca per la Protezione Idrogeologica, Italy
Title:    Some aspects of the hydrology research at IRPI
Abstract:    The presentation will address, firstly, the main research activity developed by the Hydrology Group of the Research Institute for Geo-Hydrological Protection, CNR (IRPI-CNR) of Perugia in terms of hydro-meteorological monitoring (rainfall, discharge and soil moisture), hydrological processes (infiltration, antecedent wetness conditions, overland flow, flood routing), hydrologic and hydraulic modelling, hydraulic risk and real time flood forecasting.  Then, the activity on the use of remote sensing data for hydrological applications will be shown more in detail. Specifically, the use of soil moisture estimates obtained from satellite sensors both for rainfall-runoff model improvement and calibration but also for real time flood forecasting will be analysed. Moreover, the use of satellite sensors for rainfall and water level monitoring and inundated area detection will be also handled.  Finally, future actions and open questions that have to be still addressed will be pointed out.