Introduction

Over the years, the Euromediterranean Network of Experimental and Representative Basins (ERB) has stimulated the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and expertise as a way of improving our understanding of hydrological processes, their observations, estimation, modelling and prediction. In particular, ERB gives special attention to operating and managing well instrumented experimental and representative basins for hydrological and environmental research on a long term basis. 

Beginning with the first conference held in 1986 in Aix-en-Provence, France, the ERB conference series has been an important forum to discuss hydrological topics of common interest in small basin. Examples are: hydrological monitoring, runoff generation, hydrological and environmental modelling, biogeochemical processes, extremes, uncertainties in data and model concepts, effects of natural and man-made changes, erosion, sedimentation, hillslope processes, etc.

Changes affecting the hydrological cycle, resulting from climate forcing and human activities, give way to increased challenges related to the understanding of interactions between surface and groundwaters, hydrologic modelling and hydrologic forecasting in ungauged basins. In particular, hydrological extremes are drawing more and more attention due to the severe floods and low-flow events observed each year in many regions of the world. Improving monitoring, modelling and predicting hydrological extremes are important tasks for the scientific community, with repercussions to engineering practice. All of these issues will be discussed during the 15th Biennial Conference ERB2014, with the special theme: “Advances in Hydrologic Research on Pristine, Rural and Urban Small Basins”.

The conference is organized by IMAR - Institute of Marine Research and Department of Civil Engineering of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology - University of Coimbra, Portugal.