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Prof. Makoto Taniguchi

Vice President - Asia, Japan


Professor Makoto Taniguchi is a hydrogeologist at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), Japan. He received his PhD in the field of groundwater hydrology from University of Tsukuba, Japan in 1987. He was a visiting scholar at the Division of Groundwater, CSIRO, Australia (1987-1988, 1996-1997), Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, USA (1991-1992), and Department of Oceanography, Florida State University (2001-2002, 2002-2003). He has worked on groundwater research and teaching of hydrogeology in universities including The University of Tsukuba and Nara University of Education. He moved to RIHN in 2003, and became a full professor of hydrogeology in 2009.

He is currently the president of the Japanese Association of Groundwater Hydrology (2015-present). He served as a coordinator of the UNESCO GRAPHIC Project (2004-2011) and GWSP-Asia network (2005-2009), Associate Editor of Ground Water (2003-2008) and Hydrological Processes (2010-2013), and Vice President of the International Committee of Groundwater of IAHS under IUGG (2007-2011).

He has worked on groundwater projects around the world, in particular Asia, authoring or co-authoring over 120 articles and 8 books including “Subsurface Hydrological Responses to land cover/use changes (Kluwer, 1997)”, “Land and Marine Hydrogeology (Elsevier, 2003)”, “Groundwater system responses to changing climate (Taylor and Francis, 2009), “Groundwater and subsurface environment (Springer, 2011)”, and “Groundwater as a key for adaptation to the changing climate and society (Springer, 2014)”. He has published widely in some of the top journals in hydrogeology and geophysics, such as Hydrogeology Journal, Nature Climate Change, Nature Geoscience, Water Resources Research, Groundwater and Journal of Hydrology.

Personal statement

Groundwater plays many important roles in nature and societies. IAH has been taking a lead and contributing to the use of science and technology in society. Under the current circumstances of climate change and globalization, IAH can contribute more to global development and a sustainable society. Our knowledge and methodologies of hydrogeology can be widely and wisely used for proper local, regional, and global groundwater governance beyond groundwater management.

Asia as a hotspot area has faced and is facing severe groundwater problems, such as depletion of groundwater resources, land subsidence due to excessive groundwater pumping, groundwater contamination, and governance of groundwater as commons. Diversity of nature and culture in the region needs a variety of solutions for local and global sustainability. More than half of the world’s population lives in Asia amidst rapid social change. Rapid increases in groundwater problems require new scientific knowledge and knowledge transfers between stakeholders for scientific and social solutions.

IAH has played a major role in connecting science and policy on groundwater, and I will endeavour to promote and facilitate IAH activities to continue this. As the world’s leading groundwater association, over the next four years IAH needs not only the existing research activities of its chapters, commissions and networks, but also new research activities such as the groundwater-energy-food nexus, future groundwater, early career hydrogeologist involvement, and interdisciplinary research related to hydrogeology at global, regional, national, and local levels.