Our 21st annual GRI conference went off without a hitch in Cancún, Mexico on March 5, 2008. The morning session was devoted to geosynthetics in agriculture applications and had seven presentations. Use of geosynthetics in agricultural activities in Taiwan are impressive. The use of large bags for silage and capture of animal waste for gas generation and on-farm usage was presented in two separate papers. Capillary breaks for near surface water storage was an interesting paper. Liners (geomembranes or GCLs) were discussed as well as covers for animal waste containment. Interesting odor absorbing and odor containment papers were two strategies offered for cover systems. An in-depth panel discussion by all participants followed the oral presentations.
The afternoon session was devoted to geosynthetics in aquaculture applications and it also had seven presentations. Aquaculture activities in Taiwan using geosynthetics was seen to be very impressive. Fish hatchery and shrimp pond liners were both described in separate papers. Turbidity curtains along with hydraulic loads on fish pens and cages were presented. Anchored geosynthetics and geotextile tubes as artificial reefs were described for both fish habitats and recreational purposes. An in-depth panel discussion by all participants followed the oral presentations.
A special presentation by Bob Denis of Solmax International (Varennes, Quebec, Canada) concluded the conference, and what a conclusion it was. Bob’s lecture focused on the continued need for research and development in the geosynthetics industry. Not only was it a treat for the room-filled audience, it was even in three-dimensions! It was an outstanding lecture with a spot-on message to conclude the conference. The GRI-21 Proceedings on CD is available through the IFAI bookstore: 800 207 0729.