Search icon


John Chilton

Non-Executive Director

John joined the British Geological Survey in 1972 and spent much of the early part of his career on regional water resource investigations in Libya, Yemen, Botswana and Korea. From 1980 to 1986, he led a project in Malawi supporting the government in its efforts to meet the country’s water supply needs. This resulted in a life-long interest in rural water supplies, and publications on the basement and regolith aquifers of Africa. From the late 1980s, John continued to travel widely for BGS, also working extensively in the UK on the impact of agriculture and on the development of groundwater quality monitoring programmes. The latter interest led to contributions to the work of several UN agencies and the EU Working Group providing guidance on implementation of the Water Framework Directive. John was awarded the Whitaker Medal of the Geological Society of London in 2008.

John joined IAH in 1988 and served as chair of the British chapter from 2000 to 2006. At the 1997 Congress he was responsible for publications, one pre-printed and distributed to participants and one afterwards in the International Contributions to Hydrogeology (Blue Book) Series. He was a Hydrogeology Journal Associate Editor from 2003 to 2007. Following retirement from BGS in 2008, John worked part time as IAH’s Executive Manager until 2017, leading the Secretariat team in its support for all parts of the association, particularly contributing to the Forward Look and guiding the Executive through a comprehensive review of our Rules.  He frequently represented IAH externally as an excellent ambassador for IAH and for groundwater. For his long-term contribution to the work of the Association, John was awarded Honorary Membership in 2019.