Smart Rivers History

Smart Rivers began with a need to provide a venue to share best practices and innovative technologies among inland waterways navigation practitioners and researchers. The international, PIANC-sponsored conference was first held in 2007 in Louisville, KY, USA. The international conference continues to convene practitioners and researchers to address all aspects of inland waterway transportation, including fostering industry innovations, advancing design principles, promoting safety, enhancing the environment, and supporting the economies and communities that utilize and rely upon inland systems.

World map showing the location of previous Smart Rivers conferences, every 2-3 years since 2007

Smart Rivers 2025 will continue this great tradition by bringing together industry leaders from around the world in cutting-edge technical and plenary sessions, keynote events, workshops, and technical tours.

Conference Host | PIANC USA

PIANC USA is proud to host Smart Rivers on behalf of the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC).

PIANC is a worldwide non-political and non-profit organization established in 1885 in Brussels, Belgium that convenes international experts to deliver technical reports on all aspects of sustainable waterborne transportation infrastructure. PIANC USA is one of 43 Qualifying National Sections.  


PIANC USA was organized as a national section of PIANC in 1902 with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) serving as the Secretariat. Membership is comprised of engineers, scientists, economists, planners, dredgers, port operators, regulators, and marina and vessel owners. PIANC USA members work together with participating members from over 75 countries to address a broad range of policy, engineering, and environmental issues for the advancement of waterborne transportation.


PIANC USA provides opportunities for its members to connect with a domestic and international community of technical professionals through participation in commissions, working groups, and PIANC events such as Smart Rivers. In addition, members can download PIANC’s extensive library of technical reports for free, access PIANC’s international member directory, receive awards and recognition for their work on a global stage, and more.

Interested in becoming a PIANC member… and saving on Smart Rivers 2025 conference registration in the process?

Local Host | Memphis District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Smart Rivers 2025 is being strategically planned in the heart of the Mississippi River system where our local host, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Memphis District, is located.

The Memphis District boundary includes portions of six states: Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, and Kentucky. Within this area are 600 miles of navigation channels, 1000+ miles of federal levees, and 10 inland ports and harbors. The Memphis District serves as the Lower Mississippi Channel Improvement lead for USACE and partners with federal, state, and local governments; 92 levee, drainage, irrigation districts; and myriad non-governmental organizations. Its main mission areas are Navigation, Flood Risk Mitigation, Environmental Sustainability, Ecosystem Restoration, and Emergency Response. 

Illustration showing state boundaries and major rivers within the U.S., with a pin placed on memphis, Tennessee
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