New IAH commission established on groundwater quality


Groundwater quality is a critical aspect of water resources. High quality groundwater provides safe drinking water for millions of users. However, without sustainable management, governance and protection, groundwater quality can rapidly deteriorate due to human activities. Inadequate management of groundwater can expose humans to hazardous natural and anthropogenic substances. Combined with a limited understanding about aquifer systems, quality issues constrain groundwater use around the world and in some regions may lead to conflict between neighbours sharing this valuable resource.

Within the framework of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) and in partnership with UNESCO Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme and IGRAC, a new commission focused on groundwater quality has been established. The overall objective of the commission is to advance our understanding and promote research on all aspects of groundwater quality from both geogenic and anthropogenic sources of contamination, and inform policy on groundwater quality.

We hope our website will encourage you to find out more about the commission, learn about our mission and global challenges, explore our activities, and become involved. 

Join the Commission

You do not have to be an IAH member to participate. In fact, the Commission wishes to facilitate sharing of information about groundwater quality with the largest audience possible and encourage wide involvement from the wider water community. Over time, should you wish to join IAH, you’d be made to feel welcome – see for more information. 

What do you think is important?

We welcome input to the commission from members and have launched a consultation to assess areas of interest and expertise to help inform future activities.

Mapping groundwater salinity

One of the first initiatives of the groundwater quality commission will be focus on assessing the impacts of salinity in groundwater, including mapping salinity in Africa. If you are interested in participating in this important initiative, please let us know here (English or French), we would love to hear from you.