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Executive Director of IWA Prof. Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy Visits XAUAT and delivers invited lecture

Updated on June 29, 2023

On June 28, Prof. Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy, the Executive Director of the International Water Association (IWA) paid a visit to Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology (XAUAT). During the visit, Prof. Vairavamoorthy held a meeting with Mr. Xiaowei Zhu, the president of XAUAT, and together they signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of IWA Cities of the Future (CoF) Research Centre (Xi’an). To commemorate this milestone, a special ceremony was held to unveil the nameplate of the Research Centre. Furthermore, in recognition of his outstanding contributions, Prof. Vairavamoorthy was awarded a certificate of Honorary Professor during the meeting.

MOU signed between IWA and XAUAT

Unveiling of Nameplate for IWA CoF Research Centre (Xi’an)

Certificate of Honorary Professor awarded to Prof. Vairavamoorthy

over 160 researchers and scholars who were eager to participate. Prof. Vairavamoorthy highlighted global challenges such as global warming and natural resources scarcity, emphasizing the need for water professionals to prioritize carbon reduction and wastewater utilization. He encouraged attendees to align their efforts with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and implement sustainable practices. During the lecture, Prof. Vairavamoorthy introduced the concept of a “system of systems”, urging researchers in the water sector to adopt a holistic approach by considering the interconnections between various urban systems. He emphasized the importance of taking an eagle’s view, allowing researchers to deeply understand the relevance between each individual urban system and develop solutions from an encompassing perspective. Overall, Prof. Vairavamoorthy’s lecture provided valuable insights into the pressing issues faced by cities in the future and offered practical guidance for water professionals to contribute effectively to sustainable development.

Lecture by Prof.  Vairavamoorthy

In the Q&A session that followed, Prof. Vairavamoorthy engaged in a vibrant discussion, responding to questions raised by scholars from XAUAT regarding urban planning and water management. His answers sparked enthusiastic debate among the attendees, promoting a lively exchange of ideas and perspectives. The interactive session allowed for a deeper exploration of the topics at hand and further enriched the knowledge and understanding of the attendees.

Questions and Discussion

Video of Lecture by Prof. Kala:

Prof. Kala Vairavamoorthy as the IWA Executive Director Visit XAUAT and delivers invited lecture - International Forum of Water Sustainability (ifws.org)


Biography of Prof. Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy

Prof. Kalanithy Vairavamoorthy is internationally recognised as an esteemed water resource management expert and currently holds the position of  Executive Director of the International Water Association (IWA). He has particular interest in urban water issues, combining a strong engineering background with practical international experience. Prior to joining the IWA, Prof Vairavamoorthy served as the Deputy Director General for Research at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). He has held various academic positions, including being the Founding Dean of the Patel College of Global Sustainability and a tenured Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida. Throughout his career, Prof. Vairavamoorthy has made significant contributions to water engineering and sustainable urban water infrastructure systems. He served as a full Professor and Chair of Water Engineering at the University of Birmingham, UK, and as Professor and Head of the Core of Sustainable Urban Water Infrastructure Systems at UNESCO-IHE. His expertise has also been sought after globally, with involvement in committees such as the Stockholm World Water Week Scientific Program Committee and the Technical Committee of the Global Water Partnership. Prof. Vairavamoorthy has played an active role in shaping the future of the water sector, serving as Co-chair of the IWA’s Cities of the Future Program and as a member of the Singapore International Water Week’s Program Committee. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (UK).