Welcome Reception

After a first inspiring day of many interesting talks, what about meeting all together, and celebrate the opening of the 48th IAH Congress ?

We will offer you some entertainment with Belgian folklore, some Belgian food, and we will launch the “Beer of the Congress”!

This reception will be held in the Square Convention Center itself.


2021 is a special year for us.

First of all, it’s the 65th anniversary of our Association, the IAH. As mentioned on the IAH website, the seeds of the association were sown in August 1948 during a hydrogeological excursion at the 18th International Geological Congress (IGC) in London, UK. The founding group were largely francophone and the discussions continued at the next IGC held in Algiers in 1952 which brought together many hydrogeologists with experience of working in North Africa before and during the 2nd World War. This led to the formal inauguration of the association at the 1956 IGC in Mexico City, where IAH’s first Council was elected.

In his 1992 article, John Day wrote : “From small beginnings, and by its members’ persistent exertions, the Association has achieved a truly international stature and a professional reputation second to none, motivated only by its members’ desires to get to know each other and to share professional expertise despite the various political and economic barriers of the times. Make no mistake, 40 years ago, those barriers were all too real, as many older members of the Association remember only too clearly. The aftermath of the Second World War, the virtual breakdown of relations between the countries of Eastern Europe and the West, together with the isolation of huge areas of Asia, created enormous problems for international science.”

For 65 years now, the association has brought together all scientists interested in hydrogeology, holding scientific meetings and publication of worthwhile scientific results. It promotes the co-operation between geologists and specialists in all disciplines who are interested in hydrogeological problems”. With one goal: to contribute to improving the scientific understanding of hydrogeology.

Secondly, we, the Belgian Chapter, will celebrate our 20th anniversary. It’s indeed in 2001 that some Belgian experts held a first meeting, laying the foundation of what would become the “Comité Belge des Hydrogéologues” in French, and “Belgisch Comité voor Hydrogeologen” in Dutch, or CBH-BCH

Our chapter has grown since then. You can read more on the “Welcome/Organisers” page, here: https://iah2021belgium.org/iah-belgium-2021/organisers/

And finally, one of our main sponsors, VIVAQUA, turns 130 this year.

In the middle of the 19th century, the city of Brussels was providing water to its citizens, and also to the neighbouring communes. But soon, there is not any more water for everyone, and in 1891, some communities around the city of Brussels decided to create the first public association in Belgium, in order to provide quality water to their people. They admitted then that water is a public good, necessary to life.

With time, all communes of the Brussels Region, and some others, joined the company, that is today one of the major water company in the country, producing about 130 million m³ per year, but also managing the distribution and the sewage nets of the Capital Region.

Location: Square Convention Centre, Grand Hall 2

Schedule: Monday September 6th, 2021 from 19.30-21.30