The International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH), a key Core Partner in the GRIPP Platform, recorded a number of achievements in 2017 that overall helps advance the GRIPP Mission. At the end of 2017, its membership once again exceeded 4100, with members in 133 countries and 46 national chapters. IAH has provided well over 300 sponsored memberships, primarily for those in low income countries in the early stages of their careers. A new national chapter was established in Mongolia and discussions took place for establishing further chapters in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
An undoubted highlight for 2017 was the successful international congress, organised by the IAH Croatian National Chapter and held in Dubrovnik, and which was attended by more than 500 delegates. National Chapters were also active in running many conferences and training courses, which were often well attended by the international groundwater community. In Belgium, a programme of professional evening classes took place, and in Portugal the travelling ‘Lessons in Hydrogeology’ scheme was established, which aims to take a groundwater case study to universities across the country each year.
Publications have been important in 2017. The IAH Hydrogeology Journal remains a premier journal for groundwater professionals, with the impact factor rising yet again and an increasingly high Usage Factor, according to data from the publisher. IAH published paperback versions of two books in the Selected Papers series (“green books”): Groundwater Governance in the Indo-Gangetic and Yellow River Basins: Realities and Challenges (Aditi Mukherji, Karen G. Villholth, Bharat R. Sharma, Jinxia Wang) and Groundwater Response to Changing Climate (Makoto Taniguchi, Ian P. Holman). A new issue was also published in the Strategic Overview Series, on how groundwater resources underpin the UN Sustainable Development Agenda for 2030 (https://iah.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/IAH-Groundwater-SDG-6-Mar-2017.pdf). This emphasises to decision-makers and practitioners the critical role of groundwater in achieving the UN targets. The involvement of the IAH Karst Commission was central to the work of the World Karst Aquifer Mapping Project (WOKAM) in publishing the first karst aquifer world map that complements the existing groundwater resources world map.
The Burdon Groundwater Network for International Development has just launched its free book scheme. This has the aim of increasing access to hydrogeological books for IAH members in Sub-Saharan Africa, where it can often be difficult to obtain reference books or reliably access the web. More than 140 members have applied for books.
A number of actions were identified as priorities for the remaining 3 years of the IAH Forward Look strategic plan when it was reviewed in 2017. There are plans to add further features of value to IAH members and other visitors to the website, such as information on currently available hydrogeological degree courses and educational materials, which IAH hopes to be able to prepare with like-minded partners. They intend to add to their strategic overview papers on the issues that are critical for groundwater and society and also look forward to a new publication in their book series ‘International Contributions to Hydrogeology (our ‘blue book’ series). They will be looking to expand their mentoring scheme, following an evaluation of its effectiveness.
Many National Chapters, and Commissions and Networks, will hold conferences for members in their countries during 2018, several of which are already listed on the IAH website. The highlight in the coming year will be the international congress in Daejeon, South Korea. The call for abstracts is open until the end of March 2018 and registration is already open, with ‘early bird’ fees available until 15 June.
IAH Executive Manager
29 01 2018