The School of Civil & Water Resources Engineering of Bahir Dar Institute of Technology, Bahir Dar University (SCWRE-BiT-BDU), funded by the PEER Science program of USAID conducted a workshop on "Soil Erosion and Conservation on the Ethiopian Highlands: Trends and Challenges" on October 31- November 1, 2014.
The objective of the workshop was to present findings from the USAID funded PEER science project and other MS and PhD graduate students research on watershed hydrology and erosion. The specific issues addressed were (1) improving the understanding of watershed hydrology and erosion (2) Evaluation of new trends and challenges of soil and water conservation practices and 3) Recommendations on improving conservation tools, approaches, and policies to reduce erosion.
Participants were from Ministry of Water and Energy, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Bureau of Agriculture of Amhara Region, Addis Ababa University, International Water Management Institute, Debre Tabor University, District Administrator of Yimana-Densa (for Debre Mawi), faculties and graduate students of BDU, faculties and graduate students of Cornell University. The total participants were seventy during the two days meeting.
During the two day workshop, 22 research papers were presented. Participants were able to improve the understanding of soil erosion prominently about gully, and learn new knowledge about hardpan, parameter efficient model (PED) and the model Conservational Channel Evolution and Pollutant Transport System (CONCEPTS). It was appreciated that the research was based on physical observations and measurements which was done by young graduate students. At the end, it was highlighted that these research works should be repeated and replicated at various scales.