Talk Time: Tuesday 29 November, 9.00am - 9.45am

Topic: Balancing Water Supply Reliability and Ecosystem Restoration: Example of the San Francisco Bay-Delta in California, USA

Peter Goodwin is the founding director of the Center for Ecohydraulics Research at the University of Idaho, an interdisciplinary group working on the simulation of ecological response to management actions or changes in physical processes of rivers, lakes, estuaries and wetlands. His research interests are in modeling physical processes in natural and disturbed aquatic systems, and quantifying benefits of restoration activities. These activities include the River Basin Assessment Framework (RBAF) to evaluate the sustainability of river systems under different management scenarios. Goodwin has participated in river restoration, coastal wetland sustainability, flood control and sediment management projects throughout California and the Columbia River Basin. He has served on the Science Board for Coastal Louisiana. International studies include the Lake Amatitlan watershed in Guatemala and he has been part of the multi-national Patagonian Ecosystems Research Center (CIEP) in Chile since 2003. He has undertaken numerous modeling studies of estuarine, coastal and tidal wetland systems, including Mugu Lagoon, San Elijo Lagoon, Venice Lagoon, San Dieguito Lagoon, the Russian River Estuary, Napa Salt Ponds and Delaware Bay. 

JEN CRAWFORD, LL.B/BA (Hons), CMInstDJen Crawford Image

Kindly sponsored by:  Anderson Lloyd

Talk Time: Wednesday 30 November, 8.30am - 9.15am

Topic: The Problem with Ponds

Jen has 20 years’ experience as a resource management and environmental law specialist, having worked in leading law firms in New Zealand and the UK. She provides strategic advice to clients on project consenting with a particular focus on large scale water augmentation, built infrastructure, urban renewal and peri-urban planning. Jen is a regular guest lecturer in water law at the University of Canterbury School of Law and also holds an Honours Degree in History from the University of Otago.

Jen has led the consenting for a number of large scale projects in the South Island that are focussed on the interplay between water, infrastructure and the environment. Examples include the Rangitata South Irrigation Scheme, Waimea Community Dam Project, Portlink Industrial Park and Lake Hood Extension Project. She also has a governance role at the Christchurch Arts Centre which is undertaking what is considered to be the largest heritage restoration project of its kind in the world.

Jen is a Partner at national law firm Anderson Lloyd, Chair of The Arts Centre of Christchurch Trust Board, a Director of Regenerate Christchurch, a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors, and a member of Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga and the Resource Management Law Association of New Zealand Incorporated.



Talk Time: Thursday 1 December, 9.00am - 9.45am

Topic: Impact of hydrologic variability on design flood estimates

Rory Nathan is Associate Professor of Hydrology and Water Resources at the University of Melbourne. He has over thirty years’ experience predominately in the consulting sector, both here and overseas. He has particular expertise in the estimation of flood risk and is a co-editor and contributor to the revised Australian Rainfall and Runoff. He has received a number of national and international awards for his research publications. Engineers Australia has formally recognised his significant impact on design practice: in 2000 he was awarded national "Civil Engineer of the Year" and in 2009 he was listed as one of the nation’s “most influential engineers”.

Impact of hydrologic variability on design flood estimates

Hydrologic variability has traditionally been accounted for by choosing “average” values of the inputs (the so-called “simple design event” method), though “Australian Rainfall and Runoff” now recommends the use of more robust approaches based on ensemble sampling and Monte Carlo simulation where possible. The few studies that have been undertaken using these more sophisticated techniques have generally focussed on the hydrologic rather than hydraulic aspects of the problem. That is, on estimates of the flood peak, not on the magnitude of the resulting flood level. While the explicit treatment of hydrologic variability represents only a modest increase in computational burden for hydrologic models, it is not easily accommodated in hydraulic models. There is little information available on the manner in which hydrologic variability influences the different steps involved in the estimation of design levels, and improved understanding of this will help identify where efforts are best prioritised. This paper illustrates the manner in which natural variability influences hydrologic estimates of flood peak, and quantifies how this propagates through to estimates of flood levels using hydraulic modelling.




Pre-Oration Drinks: Wednesday 30 November 5.30pm - 6.00pm

Talk Time: Wednesday 30 November, 6.00pm - 7.00pm

Topic: Reflections on Climate and Water over 50 years

Dr. Blair Fitzharris is Emeritus Professor at the Department of Geography, University of Otago, New Zealand and has held Adjunct Professor titles at Curtin and Sunshine Coast Universities, Australia. Blair has undertaken research on climate change in New Zealand, Canada, Norway, UK, Switzerland and Australia and has written over 150 refereed publications on the subjects of snow, ice, climate and impacts of climate change. He is also a consultant with 35 years of experience on climate matters related to resource development, mining, land use, energy (including hydro and wind power) and topo-climate mapping and has prepared reports for many large corporations and government agencies.
Professor Fitzharris has been a four-time Convening Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) from 1993 to 2007 and a Review Editor for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Working Group II (Chapter 25, Australasia). He was also involved as Review Editor of the UNEP Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Blair is a past member of Antarctica New Zealand’s Research Committee and of the Royal Society of NZ Standing Committee on Climate Change. He is a former President of the Meteorological Society of NZ and former Chair of the NZ Mountain Safety Council.

Reflections on Climate and Water over 50 years

Blair will reflect on some important issues in the science of climate and water over the past 50  years. He will identify changes in the way that hydro-climatology has evolved for the following: growth and analysis of big data, understanding the role of teleconnections, linking of the water and energy balances, increasing power of climate modelling, and assessment of the impacts of climate change on water resources and our vulnerability. Examples will be illustrated with case studies that Blair has been involved with from four global river basins: the Clutha (New Zealand), the Mackenzie (Canada), the Murray-Darling (Australia) and the Mekong (South East Asia). These include his occasional flirtations with engineers (some dry, but most wet).

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