The 2019 IAH awards were announced at the General Assembly (Annual General Meeting) of the Association, held on Tuesday 24 September during the Spain congress, and presented by Antonio Chambel, IAH President.
The Presidents’ Award is determined by the current and past presidents. In 2019 the award was given to Dr John Cherry, who has been an excellent ambassador for IAH and for groundwater overall, and a worthy recipient. Since 1967, his research and teaching have focused on groundwater quality and contamination. His book ‘Groundwater’ (1979), with co-author Allan Freeze, which included for the first time in a groundwater textbook chapters about groundwater chemistry and contamination, was the most cited groundwater publication in English. Since retiring he has continued to co-lead projects of global significance to publish prolifically. He initiated ‘The Groundwater Project’ in 2016, with volunteers from more than 130 experts from academia, government and industry in 14 countries on six continents. The goal is for its groundwater EBooks to be available online free-of-charge and for the website to become the leading global source of groundwater educational materials.
IAH’s Applied Hydrogeology Award is presented to “a groundwater professional who has made an outstanding contribution to the application of hydrogeology, preferably in developing countries or in support of international development”. Nominations are invited from IAH members in March of each year; in 2019 IAH received 6 strong nominations and we are grateful, once again, to the panel of Jane Dottridge, Callist Tindimugaya and Willi Struckmeier for their careful considerations. The Award for 2019 was presented to Yanxin Wang, for advancing our understanding of the sources and behaviour of hazardous substances in groundwater systems and for his remediation technologies for arsenic, fluoride and other chemicals, applied in remote rural areas of China, that have ensured safe potable-water supply for many farmers.
The title of Honorary Member is from time to time given to those who have given exceptional services to IAH over a long period. Following a recommendation by Council, the General Assembly voted to approve John Chilton and Shammy Puri.
Finally, the IAH Distinguished Associate Award is presented to a person who is not a groundwater professional but has made an outstanding contribution to the understanding, development, management and protection of groundwater resources internationally. The Award is made by the IAH Executive Committee following consultation. The Award for 2019 was presented to Francesca Bernardini, for her contribution to the enhancement of policy and governance for groundwater protection worldwide. In addition, the Award recognises the role of the rest of the Secretariat of the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, hosted by UNECE.
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