lecturers-viviana-raquelViviana Re is a post doctoral research fellow at the University of Pavia (Italy). She obtained a PhD degree from the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy) in Analysis and Governance of Sustainable Development, and in 2013 she was awarded a Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellowship to develop a three-year project in Tunisia, aimed at promoting a participative approach to sustainable groundwater management in rural areas. Her research interests are isotope hydrogeology, groundwater quality monitoring and assessment, and socio-hydrogeology.

Raquel Sousa has a degree in Environmental and Applied Geology from the Science Faculty of Lisbon University (Portugal) and a MSc in Geological Processes from the Évora University where she wrote her thesis on hydrology, hydrogeology and developed a model correlating groundwater level to topography metrics. Her main interests are groundwater quality, sustainable development, technical cooperation and groundwater management in low-income countries and rural areas.

Lecture description:

The title of lecture: Responsible (ground)Water Scientists – A heritage for future generations

Sustainability, management, protection, stress, waste, pollutants, cooperation, development, are some of the most frequently used keywords in hydrogeological publications and talks. Every time we present or write about our work and research results, we almost always find ourselves discussing water distribution on earth, the global water crisis and the need for sustainable water resources management. As scientists we often tell people the importance of saving water, recycling and reducing pollution, and certainly we aim to use the best available scientific tools for providing this information. But when it turns to our daily life, how often do we question if we are actually living in a sustainable way? Are we really acting to ensure safe water resources, for the future generations? Knowing we are living in an increasingly water dependent world and that our food and good consumptions depend on water, is there something we can do to contribute successfully diminishing our water and ecological footprint?

Being aware of the strong interconnection between human activities and groundwater, hydrogeologists are becoming more and more involved in supporting science-based management practices and outreach activities targeting environmental protection worldwide. But it is also by taking direct action in reducing the impact on natural resources in our own daily life, that we can improve our credibility to the general public and civil society. Indeed, by acting in a manner consistent with the outcomes and projections of our research, we will contribute to bridging the gap between science and society and creating a network of mutual trust with (ground)water end-users.

This talk will explore the challenges and opportunities for a new generation of Responsible (ground)Water Scientists, discussing actions to make hydrogeologists real advocates of groundwater protection for a more sustainable world, and help drive the changes inspired by their research.

This presentation is the first keynote lecture by two Early Career Hydrogeologists as invited speakers. The ECHN and IAH-Council hope this will become a new tradition during IAH congresses, contributing to showcase the work carried out by the new generation of groundwater professionals and strengthening the interactions between early career and senior hydrogeologists.