Trinity expert to help protect precious global groundwater resources

Professor Bruce Misstear from the School of Engineering at Trinity College Dublin was recently elected as Secretary General of the International Association of Hydrogeologists at its congress in Montpellier.

He will now work to promote a greater awareness of issues surrounding groundwater development and protection throughout the world.

The IAH is the world’s leading association for the advancement of groundwater science, with members in more than 130 countries. 

As Secretary General of the IAH, Professor Misstear will implement outreach activities between the IAH and other international and national organisations involved in water science, policy and management.

Professor Misstear is a specialist in groundwater development, and has been involved in groundwater resources projects in many countries in Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia. He is currently a member of the major research centre on applied geosciences in Ireland (iCRAG), funded by Science Foundation Ireland.

Professor Misstear’s current research at Trinity includes investigations into the links between domestic wastewater treatment systems and water quality in private wells in Ireland (funded by the Environmental Protection Agency), and the impacts of climate change on future recharge to the nation’s aquifers (the latter project is being carried out via iCRAG).

Further afield, he was also part of the recent multidisciplinary (and multi-institutional) Water is Life project in Uganda, which was funded by Irish Aid and the Higher Education Authority. At the moment, he is putting the final touches to the second edition of his international textbook Water wells and boreholes, which will be published in early 2017.  

Professor Misstear said: “Most of the world’s usable fresh water is below the ground, yet groundwater remains out of sight and out of mind. The mission of the International Association of Hydrogeologists is to further the understanding, wise use and protection of groundwater resources throughout the world.”

“To this end, one of my roles as Secretary General of the IAH is to increase outreach activities between IAH and other international and national organisations involved in water science, policy and management. In my previous role as a Vice President of IAH, I oversaw the production of a set of strategic overview papers that explain the links between groundwater and topics such as human health, resilient cities, food security and global change, and these papers will contribute towards our outreach programme.”

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