The 40th Italian Conference on Integrated River Basin Management (ICIRBM-Guardia 2019) will take place in Luigiane spa of Guardia Piemontese (Acquappesa, Prov. Cosenza, Italy) co-organised by University of Calabria, Centro Studi Acquedotti e Fognature, Associazione Idrotecnica Italiana – Sezione Calabria, Gruppo Italiano di Idraulica.
ICIRBM-Guardia Conference was first held in 1980; since then, a yearly meeting has been organized, and now, in 2019, it celebrates its 40th anniversary. In this lapse of time, thirty-nine volumes were published, edited by the Bios publishing house since 1986, with a total amount of pages of about 23,000. It is the most enduring event taking place in Italy in the field of River Basin Management. In 1980, the discipline was dealt with in a very original and inter-disciplinary way that accounted for both physical and environmental aspects. The innovative elements characterizing the Conference were also present in the first article of Law 183 on river basin management, issued nine years later, that states in article 1, clause 1: “The aim of the law is to guarantee soil protection, water quality restoration, usage and management of water resources for a balanced economic and social development, protection of the connected environmental aspects”.
The promulgation of Law 183 was the result of the works of the Commission headed by Professor Giulio De Marchi. It is thus clear that, in Italy, Hydraulic Engineering has had a catalysing role in the interdisciplinary debate, the only adequate instrument for soil reclamation and protection. Hydraulic engineering will maintain its leading role only by preserving the professional authority that Giulio De Marchi had and that allowed him to carry out the huge work of the Commission that included the main experts from different disciplines. The organizers of the ICIRBM-Guardia Conferences have been inspired by the way De Marchi worked, and they have always invited researchers in the field of Hydraulics and Hydraulic Constructions, but also coming from other branches of Engineering, Architecture and Natural Sciences, as the proceedings volumes evidence. The annual meeting at the Luigiane Spa in Guardia Piemontese is a much awaited event for researchers, doctorate students and professionals. It is a good opportunity to talk, stay together and share experiences. Through this event, Italian experts in river basin management contribute to give an answer to the needs of safety and sustainable development that characterize many areas all over Italy