Dead Sea R&D - Flood Research Conference

This month a conference on flood research was held at the Institute for Desert Flood Research at the Dead Sea R&D. Winter is coming and the floods play a vital part in our every day lives and workplaces.

The purpose of the research at the Institute for Desert Flood Research is to be a center for research, knowledge, application, information and education in aspects of desert floods. Floods, means of forecasting and meteoronological conditions, challenges in engineering design of drainage solutions, challenges and research methods in assessing flood flow and ecological and engineering aspects of rainfall and flood trends in the south.

The conference was a unique and important meeting of those involved in floods from a wide range of different bodies: researchers, engineers, government ministries, field personnel and more. It was finally possible to hold a face-to-face conference (despite the masks) and not on the screens, and the response to reach the Dead Sea from all parts of the country was quite high. The conference included important and fascinating lectures on forecasting and warning against floods, engineering dealing with drainage challenges, innovative methods for measuring floods and ecological aspects of floods.

A special poster session was held in which new studies dealing with floods were presented. A poster competition was held between research students and a judging team scored and decided on the two winning posters. The first and second place won particularly equal prizes for the contribution of the Ein Gedi Hotel.

The response was great and many guests attended the conference, including the head of the Tamar Regional Council, Nir Wanger, who said;

"In recent years we have witnessed a large number of powerful floods in our area and are exposed to the expensive cost charged in our everydays lives and more importantly in our souls.

Many floods occur in areas where there has been no rain at all, and the rain sometimes develops suddenly in areas where there were clear skies. It is important to exercise caution when it comes to hiking in areas prone to floods. In the desert, even a small amount of rain can produce a flood, so when there is rain it is important to stay away from riverbeds and avoid rainy areas."

The Dead Sea communities are particularly vulnerable when comes to floods; public transport cannot arrive or leave, schools remain closed, tourists cannot get to the destination or leave for their onward journey and suppliers (food and beverages) are unable to reach the communities. People who have made reservations at hotels, cannot reach them and have to turn round and go back from where they came - extremely annoying and disappointing. 

The impact on the residents of the area is very heavy.  Everything is interrupted and it can be, at the very least, several hours, oaccasionaly even days, before a road will open again creating chaos in the lives of locals, visitors and suppliers. 

Nature has its own quirky way of keeping us all on our toes, of that there is no doubt, but this conference is a very welcome step forward for man to find solutions to a problem that is ongoing for many years.

Floods conference 2

Floods conference 1

 The Institute for Flood Research is a product of the merger of the Dead Sea Drainage Authority and  the Willow Drainage Authority.


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