Our anniversary year in 2016 saw the first presentation of IAH’s new Applied Hydrogeology Award, for “a groundwater professional who has made an outstanding contribution to the application of hydrogeology, preferably in developing countries or in support of international development”. Seven nominations were received and we are grateful to the panel of Johannes Barth, Jane Dottridge and Callist Tindimugaya for their careful considerations.
The award to Richard Carter recognises that he has practiced, taught and championed applied hydrogeology in developing countries throughout his career and continues to do so with energy, passion and wisdom. He communicates sound hydrogeological science and knowledge to governments, NGOs, donors and communities, and inspires young hydrogeologists to develop practical solutions to groundwater and water supply problems.
Three specific areas that fit him for this award stand out. Firstly, his work on applied hydrogeological science in Africa, including the use of shallow groundwater for small scale irrigation and the development and testing of low cost drilling methods. Secondly, his lifelong support for NGOs, ensuring that good hydrogeological science and practice is made known and available to practioners and policy makers. Thirdly, at Cranfield Richard has been instrumental for more than 20 years in teaching and motivating students from around the world to appreciate and take up the same practical approaches to their work. In his reply, Richard urged those starting out on a career in hydrogeology to apply their expertise in an inter-disciplinary manner to the big problems of poverty and water and food insecurity as a highly worthwhile and fulfilling vocation. He remarked that he was humbled to receive the award, being aware just how many other African and international hydrogeologists are equally or more deserving than himself and finally thanked his unknown nominator and the panel of judges.