What is IACRR?

IACRR was founded in January 2017 in Australia. It is an international nonprofit organization set up to promote and develop Coastal Reservoirs (CR). IACRR welcomes members from various sectors such as engineers, scientists, researchers, industry players, suppliers, contractors, developers, water agencies, operators and decision makers.

CR is a paradigm shift in water resources development from storing water in inland dams to storing freshwater by the coast. This converts floodwater into valuable water resources closer to the demand centres. IACRR will be the platform for sharing of knowledge and experience to ensure successful implementation of CR worldwide.

Coastal reservoirs will play a major role in ensuring both drinking water and better sanitation around the area, in particular in the developing countries. The newly approved UN Sustainable development goals has seen partial success, while focussing on water as a cross cutting axis for development.

Glimpse of launching of IACRR

The official launch of the IACRR was held at Seri Pacific Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 16th August, 2017 (Wednesday) from 2 pm to 6 pm. The event was attended by numerous participants from all over the world, including the UK, the UAE, China, India, Netherland, Australia, Taiwan, Myanmar and Malaysia. The attendees included scientists, lecturers, engineers, hydrologists, contractors, suppliers, developers and other diverse professional fields. The IACRR also revealed and launched its official website: and released its first Newsletter.
Among the guests of honour and presenters were:-

  • Dr. B R Shetty , the Chief Patron of IACRR; (Chairman and Managing Director of NMC and Chairman of the UAE Exchange, Abu Dhabi, UAE),

  • Prof. T G Sitharam , Founder and President of the IACRR, Chair Professor, at the Indian Institute of Science.

  • Mr. Kushal Shetty, the Chairman of theIACRR India Chapter.

  • Dr. C R Parthasarathy, Vice Chairman of the IACRR India Chapter and Founder of Sarathy Geotech & Engineering Services Pvt Ltd India.

  • Prof. Roger A. Falconer, Vice President of the IACRR, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK.

  • Associate Prof. Yang ShuQing, Co-Founder of the IACRR from the University of Wollongong, Australia.

  • Dr Prahlada Ramarao, former distinguished scientist & DD R&D DRDO, former Vice Chancellor, DIAT(DU), DRDO, Ministry of Defence, Government of India .

  • Dr. Sreevalsa Kolathayar, Amrita University of India.

  • Mr. Jinquan Wu ,CCCC First Harbour Consultants Co. Ltd, China

  • Datuk Lawrence Low, representative to Datuk Seri Ir. Dr. Wee Ka Seong, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Dept.

  • Dato’ Ir Lim Chow Hock, Advisor of APEC/ International PE Registers and the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organisations (AFEO),Chairman of the Malaysian Capacity Development Network for Water Resources Management (MyCDNet), a Board Member of UNDP Cap-Net.

  • Ir. Tan Yean Chin, President of the Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM).

  • Mr. Win Naing Tun and Mr. Zaw Naing Oo Resource & Environment Myanmar Co. Ltd

  • Mr. Gauss Chen , CECI Engineering Consultants, Taiwan


The IACRR recognizes that:

  1. Freshwater can be developed from the sea without desalination; Coastal reservoirs may dominate future water supplies as the world is only using 5-6% of its total runoff;
  2. The world is not running out of water, but water is running out of the continents. The shortage is not water, but storage.
  3. Future urbanization is concentrated in coastal cities, where CR technology thrives as a sustainable, green and low cost technology.

Thus, the IACRR strives to contribute to sustainable development of water resources and the optimisation of global water resources management


The establishment of a coastal reservoir involves activities ranging from urban planning, EIA, conceptual and detailed design, construction and management. To this end, all members from various fields are able to contribute through the stages of development through:

  1. Initiation of coastal reservoirs projects;
  2. Reviewing CR designs ensure optimization.
  3. Dissemination of information and coordination with the local government/communities by forming a specialized task force.
  4. Providing feedback on innovations or shortcomings of CR development to the Regional Divisions, National Chapters and the Councils.
  5. Participation in funding research, contractor sourcing, or other activities to facilitate coastal reservoirs worldwide.
  6. Promotion of coastal reservoirs by engaging public opinion and supporting decision makers.
  7. Publication of coastal reservoir articles and papers
  8. Advocacy for roles in science/engineering/modeling/construction/ management for developing solutions to global water issues

The successful application of coastal reservoirs is a joint effort by planners, engineers, financiers, decision makers and more. IACRR provides an excellent platform for co-operation between all relevant fields and professionals, and encourages its members to be involved in every aspect of coastal reservoirs from public relations, technical studies, construction, online real-time monitoring, management, and integral development of water resources, land resources and human resources.


The various organisational entities involved are:

  1. IACRR Membership: Life fellow, life member, ordinary member, student member, patron member, Institutional member, honorary member.
  2. Techinical Divisions : Committees and Working Groups
  3. Regional Divisions : National and regional chapters
  4. Governing Council: Composed of global representation of members
  5. Secretariat: The Secretary, The joint secretary and the treasure and administrative Staff

IACRR is governed by a Council composed of the President, three Vice-Presidents, the Secretary and 5 permanent members from the founding countries and 5 members who are elected by sub committees or the chapters.

The Secretariat, based in Australia is the administrative headquarters and coordinates communication and day-to-day management of the association. It is hosted and supported by the center for Coastal Reservoir Research (CCRR), Univ. of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.

IACRR operates as an Association under Australian law. The By-laws are available in the IACRR Website or from the Secretariat. IACRR's structure is composed of a number of Technical Divisions and Regional Divisions. The Technical Divisions provide the operational framework for the Technical Committees, which cater to the scientific and engineering needs of its members. The Regional Divisions focus on the proposals, applications and management of coastal reservoirs. IACRR's activities include convene members in a region for CR's application specific to a region when opportunities rises. IACRR's Committees regularly organise conferences and symposia in their own specific fields, provide a basis for collaboration in working groups on specific research themes, the development of monographs, etc. In addition, IACRR supports local initiatives for the formation of local chapters or national committees to enhance and stimulate knowledge exchange on a more local basis.

Vision of IACRR

Solving water shortage issues in major cities worldwide. To be the world's leading organization, dedicated to advancing all aspects of CR and promoting the sustainable development and management of surface water otherwise lost to the sea.

Mission of IACRR

Initiation of CR by leading the profession in setting standards and guidelines to ensure that CR is built and operated safely, efficiently, economically, and are environmentally sustainable and socially beneficial. Assisting coastal cities to meet their water challenges using CR by optimizing its design, successful construction and management, maximizing the output and minimizing the negative impacts on environment and society. Inspiring coastal cities' development by integrating its water resources with land resources and manpower resources, hence enhancing the world's living standard and reducing the global poverty.

What is a Coastal Reservoir?

A coastal reservoir is a freshwater reservoir located within the ocean, with an impermeable barrier separating the two water bodies. The reservoir may be located close to or within a river mouth, and may be constructed as a solid dam, a soft dam or any combination thereof. The water within the reservoir can be utilized for various domestic, industrial or agricultural purposes.

The First Generation Coastal Reservoir

Following growing awareness of water resource challenges, the first generation of coastal reservoirs were developed to utilize rainfall runoff, with the following issues:

  • A solid and very expensive dam or barrage is used to separate the seawater and freshwater, based on construction methods and engineering design of traditional inland dams. In fact, a coastal reservoir depth is generally less than 10m, with a water level similar to the depth of the sea water column, thus the pressure difference is significantly smaller than that of inland dams. Over-designed barrages have led to inflated costs, and with the advent of new technology, coastal reservoirs are becoming significantly more affordable.
  • Barrages constructed at river mouths collect almost all rainfall runoff from the catchment, but also collect pollutants such as domestic waste overflow, or industrial and agricultural chemicals. As a result, there is an accelerated growth of algae and other organisms that thrive on the nutrients in the coastal reservoir, and cause water quality deterioration. Modern technology allows for more flexible placement of coastal reservoirs, and allows for selective entry of flow and more flushing options.
  • The alignment of first generation reservoir barrages is perpendicular to the flow direction. This causes changes in the river flow may interfere with environmental and ecological concerns, such as fish migration routes, navigation channels and flooding. Modern coastal reservoirs are capable of circumventing this issue by adapting the curvature and positioning of the barrages to integrate with natural ocean wave movements.

Recognizing that the previous designs of coastal reservoirs were suboptimal, IACRR has embarked on an international mission to promote and improve on existing technology.

The Second Generation Coastal Reservoir

Every year, about 40,000km3of rainfall runoff is lost to the sea. The second generation of coastal reservoirs can utilize a portion of this vast resource in a manner that is environmentally friendly, aesthetically pleasing, structurally stable and cost-effective, because:

  1. The coastal reservoir can select good quality river water to store, thus its water quality is comparable with those inland dams;
  2. The storage capacity matches the water demand exactly (i.e., not too big, or too small);
  3. The river mouth generally is not fully closed, thus fish and ships can move towards upstream, without interruption.

Difference between Inland Reservoirs and Coastal Reservoirs.

Parameter Inland Reservoir 1st generation Coastal Reservoir 2nd generation Coastal Reservoir
Water quality Good (virgin catchment) Poor (collect and store all contaminants) Good (collects only clean water)
Water level Variable water level, above sea level Variable water level near sea level Almost constant water level near sea level
Dam alignment 90o with flow direction 90o with flow direction Small angle with flow direction
Dam-site Limited (Require narrow width or Gorge) Limited (only inside a river mouth) Unlimited (inside/outside river mouth)
Dam design High pressure, concrete, earth/rock Low pressure but with wave/tidal surge, concrete, earth/rock. Low pressure but with wave/tidal surge, concrete, earth/rock with/without soft dam.
Dam length Short Short Long
Environmental impacts High Medium (obstruction to floodwater, fish, navigation) Low
Seepage By pressure difference By density difference By density difference
Pollutant Land lased Land-based + seawater Land-based + seawater
Emigrant cost High No No
Water supply By gravity By pump By pump
Water from % of catchment. 10-50% 100% 100%