The Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) Centre for Water Informatics and Technology (WIT), hosted its third capacity building workshop on ‘Water Informatics, Science and Systems’ from May 20-May 23, 2017. This workshop followed the Spring School and the Fall School, which was held in 2016 and attracted a large body of students, academics and professionals engaged with water management.
The three-day workshop covered a diverse range of thematic issues related to the water sector, which include Systems Analysis and Hydrological Remote Sensing. The modules were knit together by demonstrations, field visits and case studies on how aspects of sensor data collection and data analysis can be combined in water informatics frameworks.
Leading international and national water experts who delivered technical sessions included Dr. Afreen Siddiqi (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA), Dr. Susan L. Ustin (The University of California Davis, USA), Dr. Stefano Vignudelli (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy), Dr. Elena Rovenskaya (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria), Dr. Waqas Qazi (Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad), Dr. Sanval Naseem (LUMS), Dr. Zubair Khalid (LUMS), Dr. Asif Khan (University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar) and Dr. Abubakr Muhammad (WIT, LUMS). The workshop used a combination of lectures, interactive panel discussions as well as lab sessions to engage the participants.
The workshop hosted over 200 participants from national and international universities, including students from the University of Sargodha, National University of Science and Technology, COMSATS (Islamabad), the University of the Punjab, Forman Christian College University, Government College and the University of Punj (Azad Jammu and Kashmir). The workshop was also attended by water professionals from the public, private sector and non-governmental organisations including the Punjab Irrigation Department, Urban Unit, Nestle Pakistan, NESPAK and Private Power and Infrastructure Board.
The keynote address for the workshop’s closing ceremony was delivered by the Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters, Mirza Asif Baig, who discussed the current challenges faced by Pakistan after the implementation of the Indus Water Treaty of 1960. In an effort to strengthen linkages between industry and academia, and between government and academia, the workshop culminated with the signing of two MoUs for technical collaboration between WIT-LUMS and Nestle Pakistan, and also between WIT-LUMS and the Pakistan Commission for Indus Waters.
The Centre for Water Informatics and Technology’s outreach activities have been critical for building capacity in the water sector; helping to bridge the gap between academia and practice, and establish a fruitful co-operation between the academic community and industry, development agencies, NGOs, public administration, local communities, and other relevant institutions for building capacity in innovation and technology for water management.