The International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH/AIH) is a scientific and educational charitable organisation for scientists, engineers, water managers and other professionals working in the fields of groundwater resource planning, management and protection. Founded in 1956, it has grown to a worldwide membership of more than 4,000 individuals.
Its mission is to further the understanding, wise use and protection of groundwater resources throughout the world.
The IAH aims to be a leading international society for the science and practice of hydrogeology and to be a globally recognised information source and facilitator for the transfer of groundwater knowledge. It endeavours to raise awareness of groundwater issues and work with national and international agencies to promote the use of groundwater to ensure ready access to safe drinking water. The IAH also promotes the protection of aquifers against pollution, the improvement of aquifer storage and the management of groundwater resources to assure the sustainability of groundwater-dependent ecosystems.
The IAH is truly a worldwide association, its efforts being made through its many National Chapters (groups), Scientific/Topic based Commissions and Networks; its international team of Council members, and its UK based Secretariat. In addition, it has over 4,000 members based all around the world. It is striving to increase this number and its worldwide activities because the greater its number and effort, the more powerful and effective the voice internationally and the wider it can reach in all aspects of the work.
The CBH-BCH is the Belgian Chapter of IAH. Since 2001, the CBH-BCH has been bringing together the Belgian hydrogeological community, allowing the developments of a professional network for knowledge sharing.
For many years, we have developed a broad range of activities. We organize conferences, study days and field trips, as well as evening courses, and we also reward yearly a young hydrogeologist freshly promoted for his master’s thesis. With this initiative, we want to promote our association and the IAH to the young hydrogeologists.
In 2014, we published the first complete reference book describing all Belgian aquifers in depth, combining decades of research. This seminal work was made possible by the intense collaboration of about 60 scientists and technicians, under the umbrella of our association.
Every 5 years or so, we carry out a survey of our members’ expectations to guide us in the planning of the inspiring hydrogeological themes we will cover during our different activities.
The board of the CBH-BCH consists of 12 members working in universities, water companies, consultancies from all over the country. Our association counts (on 31st December 2019) 123 members and 8 corporate members.
The decision of organizing the IAH 2021 Congress was taken in November 2017, and is highly supported by our members.
During the IAH 2021 congress, we will bring Belgium to the front, as one country, putting forward our rich culture, our diversity, our three linguistic communities, our regions, but also our artists, our gastronomy, our products. We are convinced that you will be keen to discover this little kingdom in the middle of Europe.
The Organising Committee consists of a small group of passionate people. Passionate about hydrogeology, but also passionate about making the IAH 2021 Congress a big success, inspiring you with the well-known Belgian art of living.
After 15 years in the Production Department of VIVAQUA (the Brussels Water Company), Olivier is now Director of the Management of the distribution and swage nets for the Brussels Region.
Tom has a large experience in groundwater management and groundwater abstraction for drinking water supply. He is currently Manager Water Resources and Environment at De Watergroep, the largest drinking water utility in Flanders.
Tanguy has a PhD in hydrogeophysics. After focusing his work on the development of geophysical tools to auscultate and monitor preferential groundwater flow in fractured and karstified rocks (both in the academic and industry sectors) and heat storage in porous medium, he conducted experimental and numerical research on aquifer thermal energy storage. After 12 years being a researcher, Tanguy joined the Production Department of VIVAQUA (the Brussels Water Company) as hydrogeologist.
Jeroen has been working as an hydrogeologist in different positions at a regional government level since 2000. At first being responsible for the regional Flemish monitoring network and coordination of advising groundwater permits, he now specializes in coordination of enforcement at installations with an impact on the subsurface & groundwater.
Serge Brouyère is senior researcher and associate professor at the University of Liège in Belgium, with 26 years of experience in Belgium and abroad. Recent projects have focused on groundwater vulnerability, groundwater modelling, groundwater – surface water interactions, and the the determination of natural and human-impacted background concentrations of chemicals in groundwater in peri-urban areas. Specific efforts have been made on the development of regional scale and flux-based risk concepts of groundwater pollution and of an innovative tracer technology, FVPDM, for monitoring water and pollutant mass fluxes in the subsurface. A significant amount of research has also focused on the management of groundwater resources in developing countries, including climate change impacts or groundwater potential for irrigation.
An international scientific event needs a strong and broad scientific committee.
Our little country counts no less than 12 universities, located in both the French and the Dutch parts of the country. With this rich diversity, the contacts worldwide are numerous, which allowed us to build a large scientific committee, composed of renowned persons from many countries.
Marijke Huysmans is a professor in hydrogeology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and KU Leuven. Her teaching and research focus on hydrogeology, groundwater modeling, geostatistics and river-aquifer interaction.
Teodóra Szőcs is Head of the Hydrogeology Department at the Mining and Geological Survey of Hungary and its predecessor organizations since 2007. She is an invited lecturer in hydrogeochemistry at the University of Miskolc, Hungary. Her main research areas focus on hydrogeochemistry, particularly arsenic in groundwater, water-rock interaction, and hydrogeological modelling of flow systems, including stable and radioactive isotopes. She is an active member of the International Association of Hydrogeologists: she has been IAH Regional Vice President for Western Europe (2012-2016) and is now Vice President for Finances and Membership (since 2016).
In order to help us organize the congress in a professional way and welcome you in the best conditions, the CBH-BCH has appointed MCI Benelux as Professional Congress Organisers (PCO), part of the MCI Group.
MCI Brussels services both the institutional and corporate market, building unforgettable online and offline experiences that foster change, inspire, educate and enhance business performance.
Located at the heart of Europe, MCI Brussels delivers world class PCO, Corporate and AM&C services to clients across the world. They thrive on excellence and deliver services that reflect their motto that “When people come together, magic happens”.
With almost 100 highly-skilled individuals, MCI boast a multicultural environment right at the heart of Europe’s capital, Brussels. With more than 20 different nationalities and over 22 different languages spoken, they take pride in their diversity.
MCI Brussels has been doing the heavy lifting for over 30 years, building human connections with brands and associations, who know that they are in good hands. After all, it’s not just the projects that are motivating; it’s the relationships built along the way.
The CBH-BCH has also received the strong support of Visit.Brussels, the Brussels tourist agency. Its mission is to bolster and spread the image of the Brussels-Capital Region. Visit.Brussels wishes to put Brussels on the local and international map as the capital of 500 million Europeans, the “world city” where 180 different nationalities mingle, making Brussels a cosmopolitan place with permanent links to the rest of the world.
The agency is organized around five themes, each with its own specific mission : Culture and City Life, Convention and Association, Sales and Marketing, Events, and Operations and Finances.