Obituary, Vincent Kotwicki (1945-2013)

We are sad to announce the untimely death of our colleague, a truly international hydrologist, Dr Vincent Kotwicki on 24 August 2013. This is shocking news as in June 2013 one of us (ZWK) had the  pleasure of hosting Vincent and his wife, Kristina, in Poland. Vincent looked healthy and happy, full of professional ideas for the present and the future.

Vincent was born in 1945 in Poland, where he studied in the agricultural universities of Poznan and Cracow. He left Poland with his wife in the 1980s, when it became abundantly clear that the communist system imposed upon Poland after World War II had adversely influenced the life of more than one generation of Poles, leaving no prospects. 

The Kotwicki family (including two sons, Krzysztof and Kacper) found a new home country in Australia. Vincent worked as a scientist in South Australia, where he received a PhD degree and wrote a fascinating book entitled "Floods of Lake Eyre"  (see: http://www.k26.com/eyre/).

The Kotwicki family moved to Oman, Australia again (this time Queensland) and then Kuwait. Vincent’s work in Oman and Kuwait contributed to our better understanding of hydrological conditions of the Arab Peninsula. However, Vincent had wide-ranging scientific interests, from regional scale to global scale and beyond, which inspired him to write an excellent new book "Water on Earth (title for Arabic market) / Water" (prospective title for the world market). The idea came to Vincent some 25 years ago, but it was finalized just months ago, during his work at the Division of Water Resources of the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research. The book is now published and we (ZWK and JCR) carefully reviewed this book and really enjoyed it. The book is extremely interesting and it is certain that every reader will learn new things. The manuscript of this beautiful book is here, but the author is not. This may create all sorts of problems, but we hope that this lifetime product of Vincent's work will be made available to a global audience. It is our opinion that no book on the market can beat Vincent’s volume, on which he worked for a quarter of a century.

Vincent was involved in IAHS activities and had published in the Red Books and Hydrological Sciences Journal. We got to know Vincent in Rome at a large IAHS/IAHR symposium Water for the Future: Hydrology in Perspective in April 1987. Vincent served two terms as Associate Editor of Hydrological Sciences Journal, offering valuable reviews and advice.

Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz, HSJ Co-Editor and John C. Rodda, former IAHS President

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