What is IAHR ?


The International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR), founded in 1935, is a worldwide independent organisation of engineers and water specialists working in fields related to the hydro-environmental sciences and their practical application. Activities range from river and maritime hydraulics to water resources development and eco-hydraulics, through to ice engineering, hydro-informatics and continuing education and training. IAHR stimulates and promotes both research and it's application, and by so doing strives to contribute to sustainable development, the optimisation of world water resources management and industrial flow processes. IAHR accomplishes its goals by a wide variety of member activities including: working groups, research agenda, congresses, specialty conferences, workshops and short courses; Journals, Monographs and Proceedings; by involvement in international programmes such as UNESCO, WMO, IDNDR, GWP, ICSU, and by co-operation with other water-related (inter)national organisations.

IAHR publishes five international scientific journals from its headquarters in Madrid, Spain and Beijing,China in collaboration with Taylor and Francis and Elsevier – the Journal of Hydraulic Research (which is more scientific), the Journal of River Basin Management , the Journal of Applied Water Engineering and Research (which more practice-oriented and is published jointly with the World Council of Civil Engineers), the Journal of Ecohydraulics  (from 2016) and RIBAGUA - Revista Iberoamericana del Agua  (from 2014). In addition the International Journal of Hydro-Environment Research (JHER) is published by the IAHR Asia Pacific Division in collaboration with the Korea Water Resources Association (KWRA) and Elsevier, and IAHR offers it s members discounts for several other journals including the Journal of Hydroinformatics, Journal of Sediment Research and the Urban Water Journal.
IAHR publishes a quarterly magazine for its members called Hydrolink , and a series of monthly NewsFlash e-Newsletters for the international water community.


IAHR particularly promotes the advancement and exchange of knowledge through working groups, specialty symposia, congresses, and publications on water resources, river and coastal hydraulics, risk analysis, energy, environment, disaster prevention, industrial processes. Among the variety of activities which are undertaken to achieve our mission are:

  • organising events: congresses, specialty conferences, workshops and continuing education courses
  • technical meetings through our Committees
  • regional meetings through our Regional Divisions and National Chapters
  • European Engineering Graduate School Environment Water: IAHR-EGW, Stuttgart
  • participation in international programmes such as UNESCO, WMO and ICSU
  • promotion of student activities thorugh our Student Chapters
  • publications
  • advocacy for the role of science in developing solutions to global water issues

The objectives of applied research, scientific exchange, technology transfer and research management provide an umbrella for all IAHR endeavours. The scope of IAHR involves research, engineering applications, and their interactions and thus caters to the needs of both individual and institute members. Hydro-environment Engineering and Research covers only one part of the water domain and most applications, developments, policies, and public works must consider all aspects of that domain. IAHR provides an excellent basis for co-operation with other water-related associations, where common interests call for combined efforts in hydrology (IAHS), urban water (IWA), development of water resources (IWRA), coastal and maritime engineering (COPRI), etc. Specific developments which take place within the IAHR disciplinary field but have thematically larger implications and application areas (e.g., hydroinformatics) are stimulated by IAHR. Professionals from different disciplines will find a place in IAHR, and interactions with neighbouring disciplines possibly covered by other associations are stimulated and can find proper attention. IAHR is a member of the International Council of Scientific Unions and other important global bodies.


The various organisational entities involved are:

  • IAHR Membership: Base, Institute, Senior and Junior members and Young Professionals members (through officially-established IAHR Young Professionals Networks only)
  • Technical Divisions : Committees and Working Groups
  • Regional Divisions: National and regional chapters
  • Council: composed of global representation of members
  • Secretariat: Executive Director, Secretary General, and Administrative Staff

IAHR is governed by a Council composed of the President, three Vice-Presidents, the Secretary General forming the Executive Committee) and eight members all of whom are elected by the Membership. In addition, together with up to 3 members co-opted by the incoming Council, the regional division chairs and the Executive Director (ex officio).

The Secretariat, based in Madrid, Spain, and Beijing, China is the administrative headquarters and acts as linking pin in internal and external communication and day-to-day management of the association. IAHR is supported by two organisations: Madrid office is hosted by CEDEX and is supported by the public-private grouping "Spain Water" which consists of the MInistry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA), CEDEX, and Aqualogy. Our Beijing Office is hosted and supported by IWHR (China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research). 

IAHR operates as an Association under Dutch law. The Constitution and By-laws are available in the IAHR Website or from the Secretariat. IAHR's structure is composed of 3 Technical Divisions and a number of Regional Divisions. The Technical Divisions provide the operational framework for the Technical Committees, which cater to the scientific and engineering needs of its members. The Regional Divisions focus on the organisation of activities, including biennial congresses, specific to their region. IAHR's Committees regularly organise conferences and symposia in their own specific fields, provide a basis for collaboration in working groups on specific research themes, the development of monographs, etc.
In addition, IAHR supports local initiatives for the formation of local chapters or national committees to enhance and stimulate knowledge exchange on a more local basis.

Regional Division

The three Regional Divisions foster the scientific interests of specific geographic regions, focusing on the organisation of activities with specific relevance to their region.
The Regional Divisions are involved in organising biennial world congresses and can act as a liaison between groups/local and regional chapters.

Technical Divisions and Committees

The Technical Divisions provide the operational framework for the seventeen Committees, which cater to the scientific and engineering needs of its members. 
The Committees are composed of IAHR members who are professionally active in one or more fields of the Committee’s specialisation, and the Committees regularly organise conferences and symposia in their own specific fields; provide a base for collaboration in working groups on specific research themes and development monographs, etc.

Click here to find the list of technical divisions and committees

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