Environmental Geology and Geotechnical Consultants Ltd. attended the International Association of Hydrogeologists’ (IAH) annual conference (“AQUA 2015”) in Rome. The conference was held from the 13th to the 18th of September, hosted by the Italian National Chapter of the IAH at the Sapienza University of Rome.

There were 8 keynote lectures given by prominent researchers, including John Cherry (University of Waterloo, Canada) who spoke about the potential impacts of “stray gas” release due to Shale Gas Extraction and the pressing need for baseline monitoring to better understand the scale of the impact. Beth Parker (University of Guelph, Canada) discussed plume behaviour in fractured sedimentary rock and its implications for contaminant transport, and Nico Goldscheider (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany) presented modelling approaches for the characterisation of karst systems.

As well as the keynote lectures, there were over 400 shorter presentations of new research, as well examples of policy implementation and groundwater management. Some of the topics covered by these presentations and discussions are listed below:

  • The impact of urbanisation on Groundwater- a number of speakers presented cases of Groundwater warming in urban areas
  • The sustainable use of aquifers- including Managed Aquifer recharge, the effect of climate change on groundwater, and combatting over extraction
  • Management of coastal aquifers- the threat of saline intrusion into drinking water supplies
  • Groundwater governance and policy- trans boundary aquifer management, implementation of international regulations
  • Modelling of karst systems
  • Ground/Surface water interaction
  • New and innovative approaches to tracer testing

The conference technical field trip to the Volcanic Aquifers of Northern Latium included a visit to two volcanic caldera lakes; Lake Bracciano and Lake Vico. The highlight of the trip was a visit to the Paliano flowing well and thermal pools, with water temperatures of around 58 degrees celcius. Construction of a new spa on the site was well underway. Roman ruins close to the location of today’s well suggest a long history of exploiting the same thermal system.

Environmental Geology and Geotechnical Consultants Ltd. also benefited from attending a 4 day pre-conference course on Solute and Reactive transport modelling.

For more information on the conference please click here.

For more information on the IAH please click here.


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