This wonderful experience has come to its end, but we have lived amazing moments before the congress but also during the congress. It has not been easy for us to maintain our project as it had been proposed to the IAH Council in Daejeon, September 2018, and to prepare a face-to-face event, but we kept the faith in the evolution of the pandemic, in the vaccination campaigns, in our authorities, in the thoughts of meeting together, “as before”.

Having all the controls at the entrance, under the Belgian law allowing a Covid Safe Ticket Event, allowed us to reach our goal, and IAH2021 will not be remembered as the largest congress of the IAH, but as of the 1st presential congress after the pandemic.
And I think I may say : IAH2021 was a fantastic success, despite the COVID pandemic.

In the name of the Organizing Committee of the IAH2021 and of the Board of the Belgian Chapter of the IAH, I would like to express my deepest thanks

  • To the 464 participants to the congress who travelled from about 40 countries to Belgium.
    We have all experienced smiling faces, without a mask, meeting again, shaking hands, talking, laughing.
  • To the 5 keynote Speakers,
    to the 240 Speakers,
    to the 90 authors of a poster
    You made the high quality of the scientific content of the congress
  • To the numerous partners who participated financially or technically to the congress : without you, it’s simple : no congress !
  • To the companies that accepted with joy to open the doors of their installations during the Field Trips Day
  • To the HydroSmurfs, our stewards : your availability was a great help for the participants
  • To the SQUARE, for a great and central location,
    to VisitBrussels for their support
    to the medical team that proceeded to the 75 antigenic tests
  • To the Breughelian dancers and to the Gilles of Charleroi who entertained us on Monday
    to the 107Quater Band, that created an incredible and totally unexpected atmosphere during the Gala Dinner
    to the 2 Smurfs, ScholarSmurfin and SpringWaterSmurf who accompanied us during the whole week
    and to the brewer “La Sartilège”, for the great IAH2021 Beer
  • To MCI and Séverine De Smet in particular, who organized a perfect event
  • And to the IAH Executive, who believed in our project the whole time, even if there were some doubts.

This list might seem long or a bit “cliché”. But for us, ALL our partners listed above have been so important to the success of the 48th IAH Congress, IAH2021 : without one of the links of the chain, the result we have known wouldn’t have been reached.

Olivier Lagneau
Chair of the Organizing Committee

The year of 2021 is highly anticipated: it is the year after the 2020 COVID pandemic affected our planet. We all hope this world crisis will be behind us in 2021 and we can hold a double congress celebration.

For us hydrogeologists, 2021 will see

  • the 47th IAH CONGRESS held in Brazil on August 22nd – 27th
  • and the 48th IAH CONGRESS in Belgium on September 6th – 10th.

Two congresses for IAH’s 65th Birthday!

Both committees are working together to bring you coordinated events.

Please note that:

  • The General Assembly of the members of the IAH and the Council Meeting of 2020 will be held online – more details to come from IAH
  • For 2021, these meetings will be organised in Brussels, Belgium, during the 48th IAH Congress in September
  • The IAH Commissions, Networks, Working Groups and National Chapters will choose where to hold their meetings in 2021

Stay tuned !

The 48th IAH Congress will be held in Brussels, Belgium, in September 2021.
The vaccination campaigns against COVID are running fast in many countries, even if the Delta Variant has a troublemaker effect.
The IAH2021 Committee is closely monitoring the situation, and you will find in “Venue and Travel / COVID” more details about the applicable rules in Belgium !
The whole Belgian Organizing Committee of the IAH2021 has more than ever the energy and the drive to deliver an exceptional 48th edition of the IAH Congress. This is and remains our goal, since we began this wonderful adventure in 2017.
If any residual restrictions should be in force in September 2021, then we would adapt our programme as necessary. We would, of course, inform you as soon as possible. However, at the moment, the situation is evolving very positively and we are confident that we will not have to change the programme.
Thank you for you trust and … see you all in Brussels, Belgium, in September !

Dear Water Experts

In September 2018, in Daejeon, South Korea, the Council of the IAH decided to appoint the IAH Belgian National Chapter (the CBH-BCH) to organize the 48th International Congress of 2021.
It’s a great honor, a wonderful pleasure and an exciting challenge to organize such an event.

So there we go

The congress will be held in Brussels, Belgium, from September 6-10 September, 2021, in the very heart of the Belgian and European Capital.

Brussels, Belgium
Monday to Friday
6 – 10 September

The History of the world shows us that water and groundwater have constantly inspired Mankind to develop techniques for the production of drinking water, to transport water to people, to control and manage watercourses, to the search for new sources, to combat scarcity. Access to safe water in sufficient quantities is essential to Mankind, to prosperity and economic development

  • Let the past inspire us to prepare a better future.
  • Let our failures inspire us to constantly improve our techniques.
  • Let research inspire us to turn challenges into opportunities, and to make groundwater part of the solution towards a society without fossil energy sources.
  • Let  our children inspire us to give our grandchildren a better planet

In 2021, we’ll also celebrate together the 65th anniversary of the IAH … and the 20th anniversary of our chapter. Did you know that the first president of the IAH was Belgian ?
Belgium is a small country, but we have a lot to give… To the organization of the congress, we’ll also do our best to make you discover some aspects of our culture, of our history, of our architecture, of our gastronomy.

You are all welcome to join us and to learn from others, to exchange and to transfer knowledge, to learn to know people, to build solutions.

Brussels, September 6th : we’ll be there. Will you ?

Follow us here for more information in the coming months.

ir Olivier Lagneau
Chair of the Organizing Committee

Dear hydrogeologists from all over the world

The IAH Belgian Chapter is honored to host and invite you to the 48th IAH Congress in Brussels, Belgium in 2021. We our looking forward to be inspired by your contributions on the following topics:

  • Groundwater/surface water interaction
  • Hydrogeochemistry, groundwater age tracing, paleogroundwater and isotopes in hydrogeology
  • Groundwater contamination
  • Hydrogeophysics
  • Groundwater and climate change
  • Geothermal and hydro-energy
  • Karst and fractured rock hydrogeology
  • Managed aquifer recharge
  • Mineral and thermal waters
  • Regional groundwater systems and transboundary aquifers
  • Coastal aquifers
  • Urban groundwater
  • Groundwater and ecosystems
  • Advances in forward and inverse groundwater modeling and open source tools for computational subsurface hydrology
  • Advances in experimental and field methods in hydrogeology and for understanding of the critical zone
  • Groundwater governance, policy and management
  • Sustainable groundwater exploitation and well management

We hope to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our Belgian Chapter with you in 2021 in Brussels enjoying inspiring groundwater science and Belgian gastronomy, beer and chocolates!

Prof. Marijke Huysmans
Chair of the Scientific Committee of IAH2021

The 48th Congress of the IAH – International Association of Hydrogeologists – is organized under the patronage of HIS MAJESTY THE King of the Belgians.
Photo René Therrien Keynote Speaker
Prof. Dr. René Therrien


Pieter Stuyfzand nov.2019
Prof. Dr. Pieter Stuyfzand

The Netherlands

Photo Ineke Kalwij Keynote Speaker
Dr. Ineke M. Kalwij
The Groundwater Project


Photo Jef Caers Keynote Speaker
Prof. Dr. Jef Caers
Stanford University


Dr. Veena Srinivasan
Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment


Our friends The Smurfs have a message for you …

“The Congress is a contribution to the 8th phase of the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (IHP-VIII, 2014-2021)”