CHR 51 Years Jubilee Conference

Let it flow!

Hotel De Wageningse Berg
Generaal Foulkesweg 96

chr banner

On 21 and 22 October, the CHR celebrated its 51st anniversary in Wageningen (Netherlands). After a necessary wait due to corona, this event could finally be held live. The event was dedicated to the cooperative relations between countries and organisations as well as the substantive themes on which the CHR works. 

The CHR consists of organisations from the Rhine riparian states Austria, Switzerland, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. All countries were represented at the event and a renewed cooperation agreement was signed. Jaap Slootmaker, Director-General of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water, opened the event and signed the resolution cooperation member states together with the other delegates. Representatives of the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR), the Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine (CCNR), IHP-UNESCO and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) were also present to congratulate the CHR and signed renewed cooperation agreements.

The Dutch Delta Commissioner Peter Glas presented the challenges that the Netherlands will face as a result of climate change in the coming decades. This was perfectly in line with the new strategy and work programme presented by our CHR President Helmut Habersack. The CHR will start Rheinblick II to conduct impact assessment studies on these topics and further develop the scientific sound hydrological-morphological knowledge base. Ultimately this work must lead to an information portal with open data about the River Rhine. Other speakers presented current and historical projects of the CHR. Current topics of the CHR are climate change, socio-economic scenarios for land and water use and sediment (management).

Since its foundation in 1970, the secretariat of the CHR has been located in the Netherlands. The last 20 years, Eric Sprokkereef (Rijkswaterstaat) fulfilled the role of secretary. At the symposium, Eric handed over this role to Roel Burgers (Rijkswaterstaat).


Program 50 Year Jubilee Symposium CHR

Wageningen, 21 and 22 October 2021

Day 1 (21st October)


Opening and welcome - Helmut Habersack, president of CHR


Welcome by Jaap Slootmaker, Director General for Water and Soil at the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management


Welcome by Peter Glas, Delta Commissioner for the Netherlands


50 years of CHR History and Lessons Learnt - Manfred Spreafico, former president of CHR


Coffee Break


Key notes about what are the most important hydrological themes for international organizations, by representatives from UNESCO, WMO, ICPR and CCNR.


Signing sessions of agreements for cooperation between the CHR and ICPR, UNESCO, WMO and CCNR


Signing session of agreements for cooperation between the Rhine member states


Introduction of CHR stategy and presentation of the jubilee book (Let it Flow!) - Helmut Habersack, president of CHR



14:15 – 17:00

Bus excursion


Jubilee dinner


Day 2 (22nd October)


Setting the scene from a hydrological scientific view point - Bart van den Hurk, Deltares


Presentations of past and ongoing CHR projects:


Overview of CHR projects from the past (e.g. Declaration of Nijmegen and RheinBlick 2050) - Wolfgang Grabs, former CHR representative for Germany


Changes in the discharge regime of the Rhine - Jörg Uwe Belz, Federal Institute of Hydrology, Germany


The snow and glacier melt project (ASG) in the framework of a changing climate - Kerstin Stahl, University of Freiburg


Socio economic changes and their impact to the discharge regime - Judith ter Maat, Deltares


'From the Source to the Mouth'. The sediment balance of the Rhine in the period 1901 - 2010 - Roy Frings, Rijkswaterstaat


Sediment management in the Rhine catchment: Inventory of knowledge, research and monitoring and an advice on future sediment research - Mario Klösch, University of National Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna


Coffee break


Strategy and working program of the CHR - Helmut Habersack, president of CHR


Project Youth for the Rhine - Luke Somerwill, Unesco IHE


Wrap-up and closure - Helmut Habersack, president of CHR


End of symposium

12:30 – 14:00

Lunch and travel back

Pictures conference
51 year jubilee conference

51 year jubilee conference day 2

strategy & working program

CHR's Strategy & Working program 

left to right: Peter Glas, Jaap Slootmaker, Manfred Spreafico, Helmut Habersack

Left to right: Peter Glas (Delta Commissioner), Jaap Slootmaker (Director-General of the Dutch Ministery of Infrastructure & Water), Manfred Spreafico (former president CHR) and Helmut Habersack (current president CHR)

Representatives CHR countries

Left to right: Karine Siegwart (Vice Director, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland), Günter Liebel (Head of the Directorate-General I Water Management, The Ministry for Agriculture, Regions and Tourism, Austria) Jaap Slootmaker (Director-General of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & Water), Manfred Spreafico (former president CHR),  Sophie Dorothée Duron (online on screen, Deputy Director Water Marine and Biodiversity, The Ministry of Ecological Transition, France), Helmut Habersack (President CHR), Norbert Salomon (Director-General for Waterways and Shipping in the Federal Ministry of Transport, The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Germany), Tom Schaul (Conseiller du Gouvernement,  The Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, Luxemburg), Bruno Georges (Secretary General Central Commission for the Navigation of the Rhine) and Veronica Manfredi (President International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine) . 

Not on picture, but participated at symposium online: Abou Amani (Director, Division of Water Sciences, Secretary, Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme, UNESCO IHP) and Johannes Cullman (Director, Division of Climate and Water, World Meteorological Organisation)

CHR_running projects

Left to right-upper row: Kerstin Stahl (Uni Freiburg, Germany), Roy Frings (Rijkswaterstaat, The Netherlands), Mario Klösch (BOKU Vienna, Austria), Judith ter Maat (Deltares, The Netherlands). 
lower row: Jörg Uwe Belz (Federal Institute of Hydrology, Germany), Wolfgang Grabs (former CHR representative for Germany), Bart van den Hurk (Deltares, The Netherlands), Helmut Habersack (President CHR)


Change CHR secretary

Farewell former Secretary Eric Sprokkereef

Left to right: Ute Menke (Secretariat CHR), Helmut Habersack (President CHR), Eric Sprokkereef (former Secretary), Roel Burgers (current Secretary)