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Marco Petitta

Vice President - Europe (West and Central), Italy


Marco Petitta, PhD, 56 years old, is Full Professor of Hydrogeology at Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, where he is teaching Basic Hydrogeology, Groundwater Hydrodynamic and Applied Hydrogeology. He supervised 12 PhD students in the last 15 years. He is author of more than 80 papers on international journals and more than 100 articles on national journals and proceedings. After obtaining a PhD in groundwater modelling, his researches are focusing on groundwater management, interaction between stream and groundwater, human influences on groundwater quantity and quality, remediation of polluted sites, isotope techniques for groundwater studies, role of groundwater in environmental and ecological studies.

He coordinated the European Project Horizon2020 KINDRA (2015-2018), dedicated to a knowledge inventory for hydrogeology research and he is currently national responsible of the EU PRIMA project KARMA (2019-22) on karst aquifers in Mediterranean area.

A member of IAH since 1997, he was Chairman of the Italian Chapter since 2012 to 2016. In 2015 he was Chair of the 42nd International Congress of IAH, AQUA2015. Since 2016 he serves as Vice-President of IAH for Western and Central Europe.

He is also member of the Council of the Italian Geological Society, Coordinator of the Panel of Experts in Hydrogeology of the EFG (European Federation of Geologists) and Member of the Working Group of Groundwater of the European Commission, for the Common Implementation Strategy of Water Directives. International research links are active with several Universities and Research Centres in Europe and worldwide.

Personal statement

I am grateful to the Italian National Chapter for officially confirming my candidature for the 2020 Council election as Vice President for Western and Central Europe, for a second mandate. My previous activity as chair of the Italian Chapter allowed me to acquire substantial experience of IAH programmes and vision. I had opportunities to meet colleagues from other chapters, especially in Europe, enlarging my views on groundwater issues. Being chair of the Rome congress in 2015 offered other possibilities to interact with international scientists and practitioners in hydrogeology. I have also frequented European groups and associations related to EU policy on groundwater through Working Group C and the European Federation of Geologists and others, due to my involvement in the Horizon2020 programme as coordinator of the KINDRA project, and now as National Principal Investigator of the new KARMA project (under PRIMA program).

Based on these recent experiences, I believe there is room for increased visibility of groundwater issues at the international scale, taking into account the 21st century challenges. e.g. water-food-climate-energy nexus, and the policy and governance of water and groundwater. My intention if confirmed is to continue to promote networking of National Chapters at the European level, coordinating national initiatives over the next four years. I would like to attract new members by promoting IAH’s scientific activities and reinforcing educational initiatives. Finally, I will try to improve the visibility of IAH among EU groups, associations and networks, raising awareness on the importance of groundwater not only in the technical and scientific community, but for stakeholders and the general public too.