Upcoming Events

2020 Gerald Lacey Lecture: Flooding in England – Past, present and future

How do we become a nation ready for, and resilient to, flooding and coastal change?

Our Gerald Lacey Lecture this year will be delivered by John Curtin, Executive Director of Flood and Coastal Risk Management, Environment Agency.

John will provide an overview of the scale of the flood risk in England, touching upon historical flooding and for more recent floods events the impacts, the UK’s response and the recovery from them and looking ahead to future of flood risk in this country – how do we become a nation ready for, and resilient to, flooding and coastal change.

Recent flood events include the winter of 2013/14 which started with the largest coastal surge in a generation and led to the wettest winter in 250 years. The winter of 2015/16, Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank brought severe and damaging weather leaving over 19,000 homes and businesses flooded in the north of England whilst Environment Agency flood defences protected over 23,000 homes and businesses during the same period. The storms recorded record rain fall and river levels which led to the wettest calendar month on record in December 2015 and new 24 hour and 48 hour rainfall records for the UK.

And not forgetting this winter – Large parts of central and eastern England had twice the normal level of rainfall in October 2019, with central parts of England receiving a month’s worth of rainfall in the early part of November.

Due to COVID-19, our 2020 Gerald Lacey Lecture will be held remotely on the 18th May, 6pm. Register here. This event is free to attend.

Mekong River Basin

Friday 6th November 2020, Institution of Civil Engineers, Westminster, London – and online

Save the date – more details to follow.

Spring 2021 Meeting

February 2021, Institution of Civil Engineers, Westminster, London – and online

Programme to be announced. 

Gerald Lacey Lecture 2021: Water, Food Security and the Global Goals

Originally planned for as our 2020 Gerald Lacey Lecture, but postponed to May 2021

Institution of Civil Engineers, Westminster, London – and online 

UN-Water reports that one-fifth of the world’s population currently live in areas of water scarcity while two thirds experience water scarcity for at least one month a year. All economic sectors use this resource, which is vital for life on our planet and for our planet’s ecosystems. The competition for water is on the rise, driven by demographics, economic growth, and changing lifestyles and diets, all further stressed by climate change. With this in the background, we estimate a 50% increase in global food demand by 2050.

The global community has made commitments and established targets towards securing water for all and ending hunger, as part of an interconnected set of seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A few months ago, the SDG Summit held at the UN headquarters in New York concluded that the world was off track in achieving the SDGs, including the targets of SDG2 ‘zero hunger’ and SDG6 ‘water and sanitation for all’. An action decade is now in effect and acceleration frameworks and actions are being announced.

The speaker will illustrate the linkages between the key goals, provide examples from combined outcome of these linkages on selected scenarios towards food security, and what the accelerators for water may look like.

About the Speaker

Our 2021 Gerald Lacey Lecture will be delivered by Mr. Olcay Unver. Olcay is the Deputy-Director of the Land and Water Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) since September 2013 and UN-Water Vice-Chair since August 2018.

Between 2007 and 2013, he served as Coordinator of the United Nations World Water Assessment Programme. Prior to that, he was a distinguished professor of water resources at Kent State University, Ohio, USA, and President of the GAP project in Turkey.

Mr. Ünver holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (water resources planning and management) from the University of Texas, Austin and a Masters (hydraulics) and Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.