International Congress on Geoethics & Groundwater Management: theory and practice for a sustainable development

Porto, Portugal

21-25 Oct. 2019


For details and more information please visit the Congress website here.


Silvia Peppoloni (Secretary General of IAPG – International Association for Promoting Geoethics,

Natural resources of our planet are among the main topics of interest for geoethics. Referring to surface and groundwater management, geoethics promotes a prudent and responsible use, and recycling wherever possible, fostering key concepts like sustainability, respect for natural dynamics, and preservation from pollution. In this perspective, geoscientists are called to disseminate correct information on the best way to manage water resources for the benefit of society, and to sensitize public opinion about the active contribution the population can give to the conservation of water in order to avoid the depletion of this essential resource for the life on the planet.

From 2012 the IAPG – International Association for Promoting Geoethics works for orienting geoscientists towards an ethical approach to water resources. This implies to analyse scientifically the dynamics of human-water systems, to manage carefully problems related to environmental impacts created by human intervention in the natural processes governing surface and groundwater resources, to develop strategies in order to harmonize expectations and requests of various stakeholders, including citizens, industry and policy makers.

The joint congress IAH – IAPG will be an excellent occasion for discussing and sharing values, best practices and strategies to manage water resources for a sustainable future.


António Chambel (President of IAH – International Association of Hydrogeologists,

Groundwater is the less visible part of all the water cycle. When water enters the underground world on its way to aquifers, it turns difficult for non-specialists to understand its pathway and the amount of resources under the soil, as well as its possible management. By this reason or because the opportunity comes, there are countries in arid areas using the last aquifers they have to less priority uses, condemning the next generations to look for new water sources, like desalinization, there are countries mining groundwater under the borders of other countries, there are long historic records of groundwater contamination by industry, human settlements, agriculture. And there are new relations between water and energy, for example fracking for gas and oil and the possible implications for groundwater. So, geoethics is something that hydrogeologists will more and more need to have in mind when working with such a sensitive water resource.

A joint congress between IAH and IAPG will be a partnership that can lead hydrogeologists and other specialists on geoethics to think about our profession and the implications our actions can have for the world and for our future generations.


Address from the Chairman

The groundwater community involved in science, exploration and exploitation, use and management of this evermore essential natural resource is becoming more and more aware that ethical issues pervade all our attitudes from concept to action and need to be addressed. Diverse values and cultures, science and education, law and policies, human and natural environments, the public and the economic sectors see groundwater and its values and roles differently. We believe that in a globalized intertwined world a common ground must be discussed and agreed for peace, human development and sustainability.

I warmly invite all of you concerned or interested in those exciting and important subjects to join in Porto (UNESCO World Heritage Site) for a foundational congress about what we may name Hydrogeoethics in the perspective of groundwater. I expect your active participation.

Be welcome to Porto and Portugal.


Manuel Abrunhosa (IAH-GP – Chairman of the GeoEth&GwM’19)


Highlights of the Congress by 20 July 2018:

  • Increase awareness among scientists, engineers, and the public that groundwater is a resource increasingly essential for the humankind in a changing world, and is an essential component in nature for the sustainability and resilience of the Earth’s system, especially in a climate and social changes the world faces now and ahead, combined with the need to apply ethic values and principles in its management.
  • Organized by special appointment of two leading non-profit scientific international associations.
  • Local organization by the experienced members of the Portuguese Chapter of IAH in pro bono.
  • Co-organization with ISEP. IPP and participation of the Spanish Chapter of IAH.
  • Support by major Portuguese professional and scientific associations related with groundwater (provisional list). Sponsors are called and may present their organizations, products or services in a dedicated hall.
  • Organization of a voluntary yearly (2018/19) national programme intended to improve groundwater literacy and the recognition its nature, social, economic and cultural values at local and global scale among secondary school students and teachers in the form of a video contest with a Special Public Session in the Congress and awarding prizes for the three best presentations (authors and schools).
  • Congress is receiving significant manifestations of interest from all the world, and addresses all water cultures, all economies and political systems wishing to apply geoethics to groundwater management.
  • To propose the recognition of Hydrogeoethics as a new geoscientific discipline supported by a vision of the humanities.
  • Campaign to raise support to reduce participation costs for professionals from UN economically disadvantaged countries (PALOP’s included), early career’s in hydrogeoscience, groundwater engineering and management professionals, water law, and geoethics with accepted communications, graduating students with a tutor, pre-congress field-trips (2 day, multi-thematic) in 9 regions covering all Portugal.
  • 1st Announcement and website to be issued July 2018. Fresh news in and

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