International Symposiums on Karst Water under Global Change Pressure
11-13 April 2013, Guilin, China
Karst water has always been an important water resource of cities around the world. Today in China karst water contributes to a quarter of all groundwater resources. Majority of the public water supplied to the city of Rome comes from the Peschiera karst spring. Nearly half percent of all water consumed in Florida is karst water.
However karst water has intense hydrological variety, and high heterogeneity, which makes the water utilization very difficult. Karst water resources are extremely vulnerable to climate changes, ecological degradation, pollution and soil erosion. These can have a rapid impact on it.
In recent times the study of karst water has been highlighted internationally. IAH established the karst commission in 1960. The 12th IAH conference (1975) in USA and 21st IAH conference (1988) in China selected karst water as the topic. In Europe tens of countries contributed to the COST65 and COST620 projects in 1990-2004, to perform karst water vulnerability assessment and mapping. IGCP513 ‘Global study of karst aquifers and water resources’ and IGCP598 ‘Environmental change and sustainability in karst system’ by UNESCO/IUGS also focused on karst water resources.
Under the impact of global climate changes, extreme climatic events are occurring at higher frequency. For example, the karst area in Southern China and Northern China suffered from severe drought in 2010 and 2011, which significantly impacted the amount of drinking water available to millions of people.
Therefore evaluation of climate change and its impact on karst water resources and efficient use of karst water has become a challenge that we are all now facing. The International Research Center on Karst under the Auspices of UNESCO (IRCK) and IAH karst commission are currently in the process of organizing the “International Symposiums of Karst Water under Global Change Pressure” scheduled on April 2013 in Guilin. We hope this meeting will be a platform of exchange study results and dealing with common problems.
We invite you to join us in Guilin and hope that you will have a pleasurable, informative, and productive experience.
Director of academic committee of IRCK