Our program will become available soon, and we’re collecting keynote speakers, sessions and more by the minute. Stay tuned!

Download the Riversymposium registration brochure

Event program

Our event program, keynote speakers and workshops will become available. Stay tuned!

Keynote speakers

Prof Saleem Ali

Professor Saleem H. Ali is an environmental planner whose research and practice focuses on ways of resolving ecological conflicts through technical and social mechanisms, as well as exploring novel ways of peace-building between corporations, governments and communities. He holds the Blue and Gold Distinguished Professorship in Energy and the Environment at the University of Delaware, USA (commencing September 2016), and has also held the Chair in Sustainable Resources Development at the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute in Brisbane, Australia...

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Dr Peter Wallbrink

Dr Peter Wallbrink is the Research Director for Basin Management Outcomes at CSIRO, Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. The Basin Management Outcomes program has an international outlook, and aims to deliver impact and value in the area of integrated water resource management. It has a focus on achieving triple-bottom-line outcomes at the basin scale and seeks to apply its knowledge, tools and processes to a range of large basins in Australia and abroad. He is currently leading a...

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Prof Gary Brierley

Professor Gary Brierley is a geomorphologist who specialises in the use of landscape science to guide coherent and proactive management applications, particularly in river rehabilitation and conservation. He was born in the UK, completed his postgraduate work in Canada, established the foundations of his academic career in Australia, and moved to New Zealand in 2005. He is now Chair of Physical Geography at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. With A. Prof Kirstie Fryirs, he co-developed the River Styles framework...

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Kate Lazarus

Kate Lazarus leads the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) hydropower advisory program in Asia. Since 2012, she has developed and managed an advisory program on environmental and
social standards for the hydropower sector in Asia including Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan. This program engages the private sector to help raise standards and lower development impacts. Kate was instrumental in developing the ground-breaking Hydropower Developers’ Working Group in Lao PDR, which will soon be established in Myanmar. Her expertise spans water...

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More keynote speakers coming soon.

Special sessions and workshops

Landscape, Row Boat,  River, Poor Vietnam

Civil society engagement on water in South Asia


Public engagement is crucial to productive, collaborative and urgent discussion on the issue of water security and can mitigate potential risks such as regional tension. This session discusses the ways in which civil society engagement on water-related issues in South Asia has and can play a constructive role in fostering improved management and regional cooperation on water in the region. A panel of 3-4 experts from the South Asia region will discuss their experience, with The Asia Foundation also sharing its experience in supporting civil society engagement on water at a transboundary and national level.

UQ breakfast small

Breakfast panel discussion: Water for equality and wellbeing in Asia


In India, 60% of the population lack access to toilets. In Southeast Asia, this amounts to one billion people. Poverty in this region is a central concern, where death and disadvantage occur in part through lacking access to clean, safe water—which is a key intervention for primary health prevention. The United Nations seeks to address this limitation in one of its 17 Sustainable Development Goals: ‘to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all’. To respond and contribute to the technology, behavioural change and systems thinking behind this goal, the University of Queensland has established an initiative on water, health and sustainable development.

A panel discussion will investigate the contribution that water researchers can provide on water, sanitation, heath and beyond to the Asian region, facilitated by Associate Professor Eva Abal, Program Director of the Sustainable Water Program at The University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute. An active discussion with audience members will be facilitated at each table over a catered breakfast.

Date: Tuesday, 13 September
Time: 7am
: $15 AUD (Tier 1) / $30 AUD (Tier 2)


Want to sign up for this breakfast event? Register for Riversymposium now.

More special sessions and workshops will become available soon.

Social events

Riversymposium social events offer the chance to network, mingle and relax with other delegates working towards sustainable river basin management. The 2016 social program includes the Riversymposium welcome reception, the popular Women in Rivers event and the world-renowned Riverprize Gala Dinner.

Women and Water


Sunday, 11 September (PM)

Understanding gender roles is important in managing the world’s water, recognised by the United Nations and proven to result in more efficient water management. In the developing world, women are often the principal water managers at the family level—but have been frequently excluded from high-level decision. Women and Water provides a forum for perspectives on the significance of rivers and waters to gender and culture, recognising women as agents of change and plan for a more equitable water future. The event will feature a panel discussion alongside informal networking, food and drink.

Would you like to sponsor Women and Water? Find out more here.

Riversymposium Welcome reception


Monday, 12 September (PM)

The Riversymposium welcome reception offers the change to connect with delegates from around the world in a relaxed social setting. After the conclusion of sessions on day one, join fellow delegates for an informal and warm welcome over food and beverages.

The Riversymposium welcome reception also offers the chance to launch a new initiative, service or product to hundreds of passionate river management enthusiasts. The welcome reception sponsor will be announced in the coming months.

Would you like to sponsor the 2016 Riversymposium Welcome Reception? Find out more here.

Riverprize Gala Dinner


Tuesday, 13 September (PM)

Riverprize is a prominent environmental award giving recognition to those who have developed and implemented outstanding, visionary and sustainable programs in river management and restoration. The Riverprize Gala Dinner is the highlight of the Riversymposium social program, bringing award finalists, conference delegates, IRF partners and VIPs together for a night of networking, entertainment, food and drinks—and, of course, the announcement of the 2016 International Riverprize winner.

Would you like to sponsor the Riverprize Gala Dinner? Find out more here.

Study tours


Sundarbans: the world’s largest mangrove forest

The Sundarbans tour is a unique opportunity for delegates to experience the world’s largest mangrove forest, renowned for its seven main rivers, numerous other water courses, wildlife reserves, and diverse range of flora and fauna. Part of the Ganges Delta, the Sundarbans region covers 140,000 hectares of Bangladesh and West Bengal (India) in lush biodiversity and is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Its numerous water courses form a broad network of channels in the Sundarbans, influenced by flow tides and a range of hydrological factors.

Travel from Kolkata through the forest’s many rivers and creeks, experiencing the cultural heritage and influence of forest and its rivers on everyday life. The tour is predominantly by boat, anchoring in a variety of key cultural and scientific destinations—including the famous Bhagabatpur Crocodile Sanctuary and Lothian Island Wildlife Sanctuary.

This tour is proudly sponsored by the World Bank.


Nepal: mountain rivers, technology and upstream-downstream linkages

Nepal is known for its incredible mountain ranges, including the Annapurnas and Himalayas, and its home to the tallest mountain in the world. The Nepal study tour explores mountain rivers, communities and their use of technology for risk management of floods, climate change and drinking water supply. It focuses particularly on the linkages between upstream water services providers and downstream water users, highlighting the partnerships involved in mountain river management and the interaction between Nepal’s diverse villages and communities. The tour begins in Kathmandu, Nepal’s bustling and lively capital, and travels across stunning geographies to Godavari, the Sunkoshi River and Dhulikel.

This tour is proudly coordinated in partnership with ICIMOD.


Yamuna: healthy rivers, healthy villages

The Yamuna is the longest tributary of the Ganges, covering 40.2% of the entire basin. Along it are dozens of diverse river communities, who rely on the Yamuna for irrigation, religious significance, bathing and more. Despite the river’s high pollution levels, the government of India has announced plans to rebuild and repair its sewage system and the drains that empty into the river. Delegates will visit the Somb-Thapana river catchment and gain valuable education on Indian river systems, with emphasis on communities’ river restoration work through concerted conservation efforts and catchment restoration plans.

Study tour registration will open soon. In the meantime, you can register for the conference and sign up to our newsletter to be notified when it becomes available.


The International RiverFoundation will present two prestigious awards at the Riverprize Gala Dinner in conjunction with the 2016 International Riversymposium: the Emerging River Professional Award and the Thiess International Riverprize.

Riverprize is the world’s most prestigious river award, recognising, rewarding and supporting outstanding, visionary and sustainable programs in river management—and the Emerging River Professional Award (ERPA) recognises and fosters those in the early stages of their careers in rivers who have demonstrated innovation, excellence and leadership in river, basin or river-dependent community management.

Learn about RiverprizeApply for ERPA


RiverExpo was introduced to the Riversymposium in 2014 and is a modern new take on the traditional trade exhibition, enabling all groups with services, products or ideas to meet and network with a diverse global audience—from river managers to policy developers, scientists, consultants, students, NGOs, indigenous and community organisations and business and industry representatives. The RiverExpo space incorporates art, culture and interactive activities.

Want to exhibit at RiverExpo? Contact us now.


Stay up to date!

Download RiverApp now to start planning ahead! Access the latest schedule, read abstracts, take notes, vote for your favourite speakers, bookmark speakers and sessions to create your own customised schedule, set up your own profile and chat with fellow delegates to arrange meetings throughout your time in New Delhi.