Final declaration from the European Federation of Geologist’s Hydrogeology workshop – European water policy: challenges for hydrogeologists
22-23 November 2013 – Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels
About 60% of all drinking water in Europe comes from groundwater. Considering the vital importance of ensuring the quality and the sustainable exploration of the European groundwater bodies, the European Federation of Geologists organised on 22 and 23 November 2013 a Hydrogeology workshop with the theme ‘European water policy: challenges for hydrogeologists’.
The workshop was attended by nearly 80 participants from 18 different countries including several representatives of the European Commission. This fact demonstrates the increasing interest of experts and policy makers in groundwater issues, in phase with the launch of the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020.
The public was composed of professionals active in all aspects of groundwater reaching from research to water management. The presence of professionals from different professional activity and countries provided thus an excellent basis for stimulating debates and experience exchanges setting the ground for future collaborations.
The aim of the workshop was to highlight those areas where hydrogeologists are playing an important role in the implementation of the European water policy. The first section provided an introduction to current water policy, including presentations from all relevant EU water policy areas. EFG thanks the support received by the European Commission and their broad representation by the participation as speakers and chairmen from DG Enterprise and Industry, DG Environment, DG Research and Innovation and of the European Environment Agency. This first section was followed by four technical sections on Land use and ecological status; Chemical status and pollution; Water efficiency and Vulnerability, with presentations from experts from EFG’s Panel on Hydrogeology and from the supporting organisations.
The workshop ended with a Final Declaration prepared by the EFG Panel of Experts on Hydrogeology. Stressing the importance of bringing groundwater to light in our everyday lives through education and training at all societal levels from secondary school education to continuing professional training, the European Federation of Geologists hopes that in the future groundwater issues will attract more attention within Horizon 2020 calls for proposals and other policy areas such as environment and development.
About EFG: The European Federation of Geologists (EFG) is a non-governmental organisation that was established in 1981 and today includes 21 national association members. It is the representative body for the geological profession in Europe.
EFG contributes to protection of the environment, public safety and responsible exploitation of natural resources by promoting excellence in the application of geoscience, by supporting research and teaching that underpins it, and also by creating public awareness of the importance of geoscience to society.
EFG encourages professional development by promoting training and Continuing Professional Development and offers validation (certification) through its internationally recognised title of European Geologist (EurGeol).
About the EFG Panel of Experts on Hydrogeology: Hydrogeology is a main topic among technical and professional skills of the geologists, and it is probably the most strictly related to the environmental protection and preservation. In the 21st century, the pursuit of the equilibrium between human needs and environmental sustainability involves as a main element the water resources, representing at the same time a resource and a risk. It is a task of modern geologists to contribute to the management and protection of water resources, with particular attention to groundwater. The mission of EFG’s PE on Hydrogeology is to contribute to the development of knowledge, to the introduction of policies and to the technical improvement of professional geologists in this field.
Isabel Fernandez, EFG Executive Director
Marco Petitta, Coordinator of the EFG Panel of Experts on Hydrogeology