International workshop on new technologies for the acquisition of information on transboundary aquifers


On April 15-16th 2010, IGRAC and UNESCO-IHP organized in Utrecht an international workshop on new technologies and the use of alternative information sources for conducting global groundwater assessments.

For two days, about 35 renowned water experts of various international organizations discussed how innovations in the field of remote sensing and global hydrological modelling could contribute to these assessments. The use of proxy information to estimate global groundwater demand and use was discussed. Furthermore, a number of existing global groundwater assessment programs such as WHYMAP, IGRAC and GEO were presented. The final session was dedicated to the ‘data for all' concept, which refers to the ownership and sharing of subsurface data and information generated by oil, mining and drinking water companies.

The workshop specifically aimed at how these technologies and programs may contribute to the Transboundary Water Assessment Program planned by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). IGRAC in cooperation with others is developing the methodology related to groundwater for this assessment for GEF.

Participating organizations were BGR, Deltares, ETH-Zurich, FAO, Fugro, GEF, IGRAC, PBL, Shell, Twente University, UNEP, UNESCO, University of Arizona, University of Frankfurt, University of Texas, Utrecht University, Vitens and WaterWatch.

Draft Report GEF TWAP Groundwater WG workshop 15-16 april 2010 (pdf)


Airborne geophysics and remote sensing

  • Airborne geophysics for aquifer mapping, Job Nijman, Fugro
  • Remote Sensing, Evapotranspiration & Groundwater Interactions, Ivo Miltenburg, Water Watch
  • GRACE satellite imagery, Bridget Scanlon, University of Texas

Global & large scale hydrological modelling

  • Global modelling of renewable groundwater resources, use and storage variations, Petra Döll, University of Frankfurt
  • Climate variability and change in the US Southwest, impact on water resources, Juan Valdés, University of Arizona
  • Global Nutrient Loading Modelling & Submarine Groundwater Discharge , Lex Bouwman, PBL & Hans Dürr University of Utrecht
  • European-scale modelling of ground water denitrification and associated N2O production (not presented)
  • Estimating non-renewable groundwater abstraction using water demand as a Proxy, Yoshi Wada, Utrecht University
  • FEWS a scale-neutral tool for data sources and model results assimilation for a Global water prediction system, Jaap Kwadijk, Deltares

Global groundwater assessment programs and expert networks

  • GEO & GGMN, Sophie Vermooten, IGRAC
  • WHYMAP, Willi Struckmeier, BGR

Hidden data sources

  • Shell - let's integrate the water and energy sectors!, Joppe Cramwinckel, Shell 
  • Vitens - supplying drinking water in the Netherlands, Jan Jaap Buyse, Vitens

Virtual water and water footprinting

  • Virtual Water and Water Footprints, Maarten Krol, Twente University