Co-Chair of Scientific Committee
Alfonso Rivera is the former Chief Hydrogeologist of the Geological Survey of Canada. Alfonso is the author and editor of the book “Canada’s Groundwater Resources” published in 2014. He is adjunct professor at the University of Quebec-INRS, Canada, and member of the Académie de l’eau, France.
He has a vast international experience having practiced hydrogeology for 40 years in Mexico, France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, and has established permanently in Canada since 1999. Alfonso collaborates with research institutions and universities in Canada, the United States, Mexico, France, Switzerland, Spain and Argentina. He led the ISARM-Americas group of 24 countries for UNESCO in the preparation of the Regional Strategy for the Evaluation and Management of Transboundary Aquifers in the Americas, and produced a Special Issue on the Transboundary Aquifers of the World. He provides scientific and technical advice to various Canadian and international institutions and governments – UNESCO, RAMSAR, IAEA, IAH, and others.
Alfonso holds a PhD in Quantitative Hydrogeology from the École des Mines de Paris and Université Pierre & Marie Curie, France.
Co-Chair of Scientific Committee
Shaminder Puri has served two terms as Secretary General of the International Association of Hydrogeologists. He was Chair of the IAH Commission on Transboundary Aquifers. His scientific, technical & policy experience on groundwater resource management comes from over four decades of international work in 35 countries. His scope of practical experience derives from a range of responsibilities, such as the world’s largest water well drilling programme in the transboundary Rum-Saq Aquifer (2011-2012), restructuring of the coal sector in Ukraine and as the global co coordinator of the Internationally Shared Aquifer Resources Management Programme (ISARM,) under which, he compiled the UNESCO global atlas of 273 transboundary aquifers. He was also one of the prime technical contributors to the UN International Law Commission’s Draft Articles on the Law of Transboundary Aquifers, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2013. He has held senior advisory position with UNEP, UNESCO, the EU’s EuropeAid programmes and the Asian Development Bank.
Executive Director of the Regional Center for Groundwater Management in Latin America and the Caribbean (CeReGAS)
Alberto Manganelli is the Executive Director of the Regional Center for Groundwater Management in Latin America and the Caribbean (CeReGAS), which is under the auspices of UNESCO, and is hosted by the Ministry of the Environment in Montevideo, Uruguay.
He has 25 years of professional experience in hydrogeology, and has worked as a project consultant in international organizations such as UNDP, OAS and UNESCO; in the national agencies and municipal governments of Uruguay; as well as for private companies. He was also a professor at the University of the Republic of Uruguay, and directed courses on Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Geology, in the Department of Geological Sciences.
Groundwater resources expert
Alexis Gutierrez, PhD 1994 (Paris) acquired extensive experience in the field of ground water during 32 years of careers in France and abroad, most of it with BRGM (French Geological Survey).
His experience covers the groundwater hydrodynamics as well as the qualitative aspects relative to this resource: natural quality and impact of human activity. He took part in, or directed many international projects in Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, India, Bangladesh, Malta and in many African countries. He was involved in Middle East groundwater management projects, (including Palestine, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia). These various projects, sometimes on transboundary resources, comprised the quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the groundwater resources as well as their development to meet the needs of the population, agriculture and industry. Since 2018 he is developing new projects in the SADC region (Namibia, South Africa).
Alexis Gutierrez masters the tools required by this activity from field operations and drilling to modeling groundwater flows and the propagation of pollution.
Senior Water Resources Management Specialist - World Bank
Anders Jägerskog Ph.D is Snr Water Resources Management Specialist at the Global Water Practice at the World Bank. He is also the focal point at the World Bank for Transboundary Waters. His work focuses mainly on the Middle East and North Africa region but also covers East Africa including the Nile. Previously he was Counsellor for regional water resources in the MENA region at the Swedish Embassy in Amman, Jordan; Director, Knowledge Services, at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) where he headed the Transboundary Water Management Unit and was work area leader for applied research. He managed the UNDP Shared Waters Partnership which facilitates and promotes dialogue and cooperation on transboundary water resources. He is Associate Professor (Docent) at Peace and Development Research, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg where his work focuses on global water issues. He worked for Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs; at the Embassy of Sweden, Nairobi and at Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). In 2003 he finished his PhD on the water negotiations in the Jordan River Basin at the Department of Water and Environmental Studies at the Linköping University, Sweden. He has published over 100 scientific articles, book chapters, debate articles and reports on global water issues.
Senior Geoligst - Former GEF Senior Expert
Dr. Merla, a geologist graduated at the Universities of Florence (Italy) and Princeton (NJ), has gained a wide professional experience in the fields of groundwater, environmental protection and natural resources assessment and management gained through extensive work in over 50 countries worldwide within the framework of both industrial projects and programs of technical assistance. From 1998 to 2007, as senior environmental specialist at the World Bank, he was Program Manager of the International Waters project portfolio of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). In this capacity and amongst others he launched the groundwater portfolio of the GEF with innovative initiatives addressing some of the major transboundary aquifers of Latin America (Guarani) and the Sahel. Previously, he was for 13 years General Manager of a private consulting firm acting world-wide in the field of water, environmental protection and renewable energy, Associate Researcher at Princeton University (N.J.), oil exploration geologist with Gulf Oil Corporation (USA), manager of the environmental division of the ENI Group (Italy) and Regional Program Coordinator of the Latin American Energy Organization (Ecuador). Since 2008, as a consultant, Dr. Merla has worked for several UN Agencies, IFIs and ODA providers (GEF IEO, CAF, World Bank, UNEP, FAO, IAEA, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNOPS, OAS, OSS, EU). He presently lives in Umbria, Italy, and in the island of Chios, Greece.
Environmental Affairs Officer, secretariat of the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes at UNECE
Since 2009, Dr. Lipponen has been working as an Environmental Affairs Officer in the secretariat of the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes at UNECE in Switzerland. Her main duties focus on the assessment of transboundary waters, including coordinating assessments of intersectoral links, trade-offs and benefits (water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus). She has also worked as a programme specialist at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO; 2003-2009), first in the Division of Water Sciences in France, and then as the responsible officer for UNESCO’s natural sciences programmes in Central Asia based in Kazakhstan. Previously, Dr. Lipponen had carried out research at the Finnish Environment Institute, in particular related to water supply potential and vulnerability of groundwater in fractured rocks. She has published internationally on both water resources assessment related technical topics and on governance, notably about the transboundary aspects.
Senior Environmental Specialist, International Waters
Astrid Hillers is responsible for the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) work on International Waters in Africa and on shared surface and groundwater in Asia. She also leads several cross-sectoral Strategic Global Initiatives at the GEF. Among these strategic initiatives is the work on Water Security and the Nexus between water-food-energy and ecosystems which is underlying both conflict and cooperation potential in many shared surface and groundwater basins. She joined the GEF in 2012. Prior to this she engaged in cooperation on river basins in Africa, especially the Nile basin, during most of her career at the World Bank, where she worked since 2000, and in her previous work at UNDP. At the World Bank, she also led the initial establishment of the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience as part of the Climate Investment Fund team. She is a German national and an environmental engineer by training.
Researcher at IGRAC
Christina Fraser is a Researcher at the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC). She completed her PhD in 2020 at the University of Strathclyde that focused on national scale transboundary aquifer assessment and management in Malawi. Previous to this, she completed a MSc in Hydrogeology and a BSc in Geology. Her professional interests are in the improved assessment and management of transboundary aquifers, the development of science informed policy and governance, and supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Christina is also an associate committee member of the International Association of Hydrogeologists Transboundary Aquifer Commission. She has worked with multiple NGO's, governmental departments, research organizations and experts worldwide within the field of hydrogeology and international development and has extensive field experience in Scotland and Africa.
Senior Counsel, World Bank
Dr. Christina Leb works as Senior Counsel at the Environment and International Law Department of the World Bank. Prior to this position, she was the Program Manager of the Central Asia Energy and Water Development Program and Thematic Focal Point for Transboundary Waters at the Water Global Practice of the World Bank, where she also worked on several other assignments related to water resources management and transboundary water governance in South and Central Asia and Africa. Prior to joining the World Bank, Dr. Leb worked at the Faculty of Law of the University of Geneva and continues to be a fellow at the University’s Platform for International Water Law. She is also an affiliate member of the International Water Law Academy (IWLA) at Wuhan University. In her publications, Dr. Leb focuses on transboundary water resources management and international water law. She holds a doctorate in public international law from the University of Geneva, a M.A. in international relations from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University, and a law degree from the Karl Franzens University of Graz, Austria.
Craig T. Simmons
Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor
Professor Craig Simmons FTSE is a leading groundwater scientist, recognised for major national and international contributions to groundwater science, science leadership, education and policy reform.
Professor Simmons is Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Hydrogeology, Schultz Chair in the Environment at Flinders University and Foundation Director of the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training. He is Executive Director for Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Earth Sciences at the Australian Research Council.
Senior Water Resources Management Specialist at the World Bank
François Bertone is a Senior Water Resources Management Specialist for the Global Water Practice of the World Bank. He has thirty years’ experience in groundwater resource management acquired in over 40 countries worldwide for private engineer consulting firms, industrial companies, drilling contractors, several UN agencies and various donors. He is occasionally invited to teach water-well design at the Center for Hydrogeology and Geothermics of the University of Neuchatel. At the World Bank, he has primary responsibilities for leading groundwater-related activities in analytics, policy dialogue and lending. His current focus of work is on strengthening the sound use of the groundwater resources worldwide while supporting the emergence of the next generation of national groundwater experts. He is committed to interdisciplinary approach, keeping a strong link between technical specialists, policy makers, water users and academics on the long term.
Co-Director of the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance
Francesco Sindico is a Reader (Associate Professor) in International Environmental Law at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Law School where he is also the Director of the Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG). His work in the field of International Water Law focuses mainly on the management of Transboundary Aquifers (TBA), but he also works on water and human rights, water and international trade, and international water governance. He is the author of the book “International Law and Transboundary Aquifers” published y Edward Elgar in 2020. Francesco also work on climate change, sustainable development and island law and policy. In his work, Dr Sindico collaborates extensively with international organisations, national governments and civil society and provides legal advice to governments in international disputes before international courts.
Gabriel de los Cobos
Head of soil/geology/hydrogeology branch – GESDEC – Canton of Geneva/Switzerland
Gabriel de los Cobos qualified as a geologist and hydrogeologist at the Universities of Geneva and Neuchâtel, with a doctorate from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne (EPFL). He has been involved in research and teaching and has worked in the private sector as well as on humanitarian issues, mainly in Africa. Since 1998, as hydrogeologist, he has been the head of the Geology and Groundwater section in the Service of Geology, Soils and Waste of the Canton of Geneva (GESDEC). As such, he is also a member of the Transboundary Committee for Genevese Groundwater Management.
University of Geosciences, China, TBA
Han Zaisheng graduated of Hydrogeology in China University of Geosciences Beijing. He has engaged in hydrogeologic career for more than forty years in China and Asia. He was one of the specialists used the numerical methods, hydro-chemical analysis, groundwater and surface water joint utilization, groundwater vulnerability, geothermal geology and other advanced concept and technique in groundwater investigation projects. He worked as a Senior Hydrogeologist at the Ministry of Geology and Mineral Resources and China Geological Survey. He was hold the post of Guest Professor at the China University of Geosciences in Beijing China. He has published three books, more than 50 professional Chinese papers and 30 in English on hydrogeology and environmental geology. He was an Associate Editor and Chinese Abstract Translation Manager for Hydrogeology Journal. He has been a member of the Steering Committee for the World-wide Hydrogeological Mapping and Assessment Programme (WHYMAP). He is also a member of Transboundary Groundwater Expert Group of UNESCO. He is responsible for Asia. He have inventoried and mapping the Transboundary Aquifers in Asia. Prof. HAN Zaisheng received the IAH Applied Hydrogeology Award 2017 at Dubrovnik Croatia in IAH 44Th Congress.
Executive Secretary -International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River
Since August 2013, Mr. Zavadsky works in the Permanent Secretariat of the International Commission for Protection of the Danube River as the Executive Secretary to this Commission. First he worked for the Bratislava’s Water Utility Company, and then for the Slovak Government in different senior management positions in the waterand environment sectors for more than 15 years. Since 2001, he managed two UNDP/GEF regional projects in the Danube River Basin and Black Sea region assisting 17 countries in the implementation of a regional conventions, addressing the nutrient pollution and ecological rehabilitation of the Black Sea from eutrophication. From 2007 until mid-2013, he worked for the GEF Secretariat, where he was responsible for the technical and financial review of complex regional programmes and projects in the GEF International Waters focal area. As the Coordinator for the GEF IW Focal Area, he has led the development of the GEF IW Strategy for the 6th GEF cycle. He has a master degree in water management with a specialisation in water supply and sanitation from the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava and a post-gradual degree on water management economics from the same university.
Em. Professor, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, UNESCO Chair/INWEB Director
J. Ganoulis is Emeritus Professor of Civil Engineering at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), Ph.D. (Doctorat d’Etat) in Natural Sciences from the University of Toulouse (France) and visiting scholar at the Universities of Erlangen (Germany), McGill (Canada), Melbourne (Australia), and Paris VI (France). He has more than 35 years experience in integrated water resources management, risk analysis, climate change and transboundary water management, including transboundary aquifer resources and conflict resolution. He is Ex State Secretary for Water in Athens, Greece, the Director of the UNESCO Chair/International Network of Water-Environment Centres for the Balkans (INWEB-http://www.inweb.gr/), Senior Consultant and Greece representative in UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP), Paris. He published more than 200 papers in International Journals and Conferences and is the co-editor/author of 10 books including Transboundary Water Resources Management: a Multidisciplinary Approach (WILEY, 2011), Risk Analysis of Water Pollution (WILEY, 2009; 2nd edition; translated into Chinese) and Transboundary Hydro-Governance: From Conflict to Shared Management (SPRINGER, 2018).
Project Scientist, Urban Planning and Public Policy
Professor of Fluid Mechanics at the University Louis Pasteur of Strasbourg, France, Expert-Consultant at the European Commission in Brussels and President of the European Institute for Water, he developed an expert competence in directing multidisciplinary and multicultural professional groups of scientists, policymakers and planners, administrators and their technical staff, to prepare the scientific background of water legislation in the EU and draft the corresponding water laws, with an emphasis on groundwater.
Co-founder of the Water Security Research Centre
Dr Mark Zeitoun is co-founder of the Water Security Research Centre, and Professor of Water Security and Policy at the School of International Development, University of East Anglia. His research focuses on international transboundary water conflict and cooperation, the influence of armed conflict on water services, and the links between water and health. This stems from his work as a humanitarian-aid water engineer, and advisor on water security policy and transboundary water negotiations throughout the Middle East and Africa. He is author of Power and Water: the Hidden Politics of the Palestinian-Israeli Water Conflict (IB Tauris 2008 (paper – 2011), and Water Conflicts: Analysis for Transformation (OUP 2020, with Naho Mirumachi and Jeroen Warner). He studied engineering at McGill University in Montreal and human geography at King’s College London.
Doctor of geological-mineralogical sciences on hydrogeology
Professor, School of Law / Centre for Law and the Environment. University College Cork
Professor, School of Law, University College Cork; Director, LL.M. (Environmental & Natural Resources Law) Programme: https://www.ucc.ie/en/ckl48/; Co-Director, Centre for Law & the Environment: https://www.ucc.ie/en/lawenvironment/. Prof McIntyre’s principal interest is the field of Environmental Law, with a particular research focus on International Water Law. He is the General Editor of the Journal of Water Law and has served as the inaugural Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law's Specialist Group on Water and Wetlands, on the Project Complaints Mechanism of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and on the Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency. He holds visiting positions at University of Dundee, Charles University Prague, Xiamen University and Wuhan University.
Ralf Klingbeil (*)
Vice President Science and Programme of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH)
Dr. Ralf Klingbeil has been elected in 2020 as Vice President Science and Programme of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH). Since 2001, Ralf has been working in various positions for the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR). He has been responsible for international project coordination and groundwater projects in Africa, the Middle East and globally. Currently he is Senior Expert in the working group “Groundwater Resources - Quality and Dynamics”. While on leave from BGR 2008 to 2017, Ralf served in various functions as member of the Board of Directors for the Middle East North Africa Network of Water Centres of Excellence (MENA NWC), as Regional Advisor on environment and water for the UN Regional Commission ESCWA, as Network Coordinator for AWARENET, as Senior Programme Officer for UN-Water, Decade Programme on Capacity Development. Prior to BGR he worked as hydrogeologist for private sector consultancies in Germany and UK. Ralf Klingbeil holds a PhD in Hydrogeology / Applied Geology from Tübingen, Germany, the title Diplom-Geophysiker (similar M.Sc. Geophysics) from Kiel, Germany and a M.Sc. Hydrogeology from Birmingham, UK.
(*) With the sad and sudden passing of Dr Ralf Klingbeil earlier this year, UNESCO IHP is reminded of Ralf’s personal and professional commitment to the field of hydrogeology and most notably to the ISARM programme and most recently in his capacity as Vice President of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH). We join with others amongst the UNESCO water family in paying tribute to Ralf's memory and we thank him for his expertise, support and inspiration.
President and CEO - A Ripple Effect pllc
Dr. Renée Martin-Nagle joined the global groundwater community in 2011 after a 25-year career in aviation. She holds two law degrees that have focused on groundwater and has published and spoken widely on the topic. Her LL.M. thesis on fossil aquifers, Fossil Aquifers: A Common Heritage of Mankind, won an award for environmental scholarship, and her PhD thesis, Governance of Offshore Freshwater Resources, was published as a book in January 2020 by Brill Nijhoff. Currently Renée is serving as President and CEO of A Ripple Effect PLLC, Visiting Scholar at the Environmental Law Institute, Treasurer of the International Water Resources Institute, Special Counsel at the law firm Eckert Seamans, Member of the Ebensburg Municipal Water Authority, Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of Mount Aloysius College, and Vice-Chair of the Sustainability Committee of the American Bar Association Forum on Air and Space Law.
Research Professor of Environmental Policy
Research Professor of Environmental Policy and Immediate Past Director Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy - The University of Arizona.
Professor at the University of KwaZuluNatal
Seifu Kebede Gurmessa is hydrogeologist by training with specialty in tracer hydrology and geochemistry (water quality). He obtains PhD from the University of Avignon, France in 2005. He has served Addis Ababa University as associate professor of hydrogeology. He joined the University of KwaZuluNatal as Associate Professor of Hydrology in Sept 2019. He authored more than 50 peer reviewed papers and 1 book. He is the Sub Saharan Africa VP for the IAH. He co-chairs the water quality commission of the IAH.
Sharon B. Megdal
Director of the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center
Sharon B. Megdal is Director of the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center, Professor of Environmental Science, C.W. & Modene Neely Endowed Professor, and Distinguished Outreach Professor. Her work focuses on water policy and management, on which she writes and frequently speaks. The geographic scope of Dr. Megdal’s applied research and engagement efforts ranges from local to international. Her long-term research focus includes comparative evaluation of water management, policy, and governance in water-scarce regions, groundwater recharge, and transboundary aquifer assessment. Engagement projects include the Indigenous Water Dialogues initiative and the Diverse Voices in Water Resources project. Dr. Megdal teaches the multi-disciplinary graduate course “Water Policy in Arizona and Semi-arid Regions”. She was named the 2020 recipient of the Warren A. Hall Medal for lifetime achievement in water resources research and education by the Universities Council on Water Resources. Sharon Megdal’s professional service activities include serving as Board President, International Arid Lands Consortium and Board Member, American Water Resources Association. From 2009 through 2020, she was a member of the elected Board of Directors for the Central Arizona Project. Sharon holds a Ph.D. degree in Economics from Princeton University.
Secretary, Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes
Currently leads the water team at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and serves as secretary to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) and co-secretary to the UNECE/ WHO-Europe Protocol on Water and Health. She has worked for more than 10 years in the secretariat, for example coordinating the activities on climate change adaptation. Before joining UNECE, she worked for UNEP in Nairobi and studied environmental sciences, policy and management as well as social sciences.
Associate Professor – Water Law and Diplomacy
Dr. Susanne Schmeier is an Associate Professor at IHE Delft, focusing on environmental and water law and institutions as well as water diplomacy.
Prior to joining IHE Delft, she worked for many years for the Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), among others coordinating GIZ’s transboundary water portfolio, as well as various regional and international organizations, including the Mekong River Commission and the World Bank.
Associated Professor of Hydrogeology and Groundwater Resources
Tibor Stigter is Associate Professor of Hydrogeology and Groundwater Resources at the IHE Delft Institute for Water Education (UNESCO Category 2) in The Netherlands. His main areas of expertise are: i) groundwater resources assessment and development in adaptation to climate and global change, and ii) the hydrochemical and geophysical study of groundwater-surface water-wetland interactions and impacts from contamination and salinization. He has over 15 years of experience in research, education and training in projects in Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. He currently coordinates the DUPC2 (Research for Development) SALINPROVE project on mitigation of saline intrusion in coastal aquifers in Mozambique and Vietnam (salinprove.un-ihe.org), and participates in a number of other research and training initiatives, on nature-based storage in sand rivers in Africa, and managed aquifer recharge in Colombia. Within these projects he supervises several MSc and PhD students, one of which studying transboundary aquifer assessment and management. Furthermore, he is the initiator and coordinator of the EU Erasmus+ Mundus Joint Master Programme in Groundwater and Global Change - Impacts and Adaptation (www.groundwatermaster.eu) and he chairs the IAH Commission on Groundwater and Climate Change (gwclimate.iah.org).
Director of the Institute for Water & Watersheds (IWW)
Todd currently serves as the director of the Institute for Water & Watersheds (IWW) at Oregon State University (OSU), Oregon’s Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI) that reports to the US Geological Survey (USGS). He also serves as the Secretary-Treasurer of the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR). Todd has professional licenses as an Oregon-Certified Engineering Geologist and Oregon-Certified Water Right Examiner.
He is also a Certified Online Mediator with 20 years of experience on dispute prevention and conflict resolution for groundwater, aquifers, and water well construction. In related work, Todd teaches Environmental Conflict Resolution at the University of Oregon Law School. He has ridden over 67,000 km. on his Vespa.
Assistant Professor, Earth Sciences Department, University of Pisa
Viviana Re currently works as Assistant Professor at the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Pisa (Italy). She does research in hydrogeochemistry of (ground)water contamination, isotope techniques for monitoring groundwater salinisation and aquifer contamination. She is also actively involved in Technical Cooperation projects, focusing on: development of quality monitoring programmes, support to groundwater resource planning, management and protection. She recently developed socio-hydrogeology, as a new approach aiming at incorporating the social dimension into hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical investigations.