New dates: 18-22 May 2020

Please consult the official website:

Registration and abstract submission opening soon.


Groundwater is the most abundant and widespread source of liquid freshwater on the planet. It is also currently a threatened water resource in terms of quantity and quality due to climate and anthropogenic stresses. Meanwhile, there are aquifers that remain untapped in regions or periods of water scarcity.

Hydrogeology studies the occurrence, movement, and quality of groundwater as a basis for understanding this essential natural resource, providing the scientific support for the management of its diverse environmental and anthropogenic uses.

Geoethics is an emerging scientific field that deals with the ethical, social and cultural implications of geosciences knowledge, research, practice, education and communication, and with the relevant social role and responsibility of geoscientists in conducting their activities while interacting with the Earth system, groundwater being one of its undisputed important components.

​The wide diversity, scale, significance and increasing magnitude of the interactions of anthropogenic behaviour with aquifers and groundwater, involving some degree of conflict of values or interests, decisions and demands from the agents involved, such as groundwater scientists, policymakers, managers, organizations, professionals, and citizens, call for a responsible and human approach to groundwater use and management.

This joint congress emerges from an Agreement for Cooperation signed on 5 April 2017 about common grounds by the IAH – International Association of Hydrogeologists ( IAPG – International Association for Promoting Geoethics ( Following its terms, the international Congress «GEOETHICS & GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT: THEORY AND PRACTICE FOR A SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT» – GEOETH&GWM’19 – aims for the first global approach on the vast subjects of Geoethics in Groundwater management and its recognized need of reflection for correct and prudent actions.

GEOETH&GWM’20 convenes groundwater specialists, scholars and professionals, as well as educators, students, and early career colleagues in the first specialized world forum for discussing theory and practice, sharing values, knowledge, research, educational projects, best practices and strategies aiming at the responsible integrated management of groundwater resources for a resilient and sustainable future.

​In a world asking for answers, GEOETH&GWM’20 has the goal to present a scientific and professional community capable of proposing synergetic cultural and practical answers to complex problems affecting society.

IAH and IAPG delegated the task to organize this Congress to the Executive Council of the Portuguese Chapter of IAH (AIH-GP) who appointed the Organizing Committee (OC), which I am honoured to chair, with representatives of the co-organizer ISEP – School of Engineering, Polytechnic of Porto, and the Spanish Chapter of IAH. A multidisciplinary Scientific Committee (SC) will assist the OC in assuring the quality of the event, the correct framework of its general themes, and the quality of the sessions and activities.

The OC and the SC calls to your appreciated participation to take stock of philosophical and legal approaches, analysis of case studies from around the world, management models or proposals, educational views, innovative transdisciplinary knowledge, research or projects on responsible groundwater management.

​At this early stage we are already honoured to count on a continuously expanding group of Supporting Organizations with leading roles in fields related to the study and management of groundwater. Sponsors at several levels of involvement are called to help reduce costs and to allow a fair fee for a selection of economically disadvantaged delegates. Public recognition of Supporting Organizations and Sponsors is well deserved.

We warmly invite all of you concerned or interested in these exciting and important subjects to join us next year (2020, 18-22 May) in Porto (UNESCO World Heritage Site) for a foundational Congress on what has already been called Hydrogeoethics, a novel scientific field integrating all aspects of Geoethics in Groundwater theory and practice. We are looking forward your active participation. Be welcome to Porto and Portugal.

Manuel Abrunhosa, chair of the Organizing Committee, Porto, August 31, 2018

Major Themes

Being the first Congress on Geoethics and Groundwater Management, the Organizing and Scientific Committees intends an unlimited and broad coverage of all possible subjects involved. Three Major Themes are proposed following an early wise suggestion from Dr. Partha Sarathi Datta, IAPG-India, and member of the Scientific Committee of the GEOETH&GWM’20 Congress. Each major theme will later be subdivided in proposed topics in order to assemble contributions in more specific sessions with methodological and aim’s coherence.

1 – Fundamentals of Hydrogeoethics: Cultures, principles and geoethical values in the philosophy of groundwater resources, legal frameworks, policies, management models, professional practices and citizen action.

2 – Lessons for a resilient and sustainable future with Hydrogeoethics: Case studies of geoethics in groundwater science-engineering, profession and management.

3 –  Scientific and humanistic components of Hydrogeoethics: Education and professional training of geoethics in groundwater management.

Special sessions

The Organizing Committee (OC) launched previously a call for proposals for Special Sessions leaded by a convener in order to allow research groups (formal or informal) the opportunity to present and share their work in specific topics in any of the Major Themes of this foundational Congress. Responses were very promising, covering specific topics in all Major Themes.​ The titles of the Special Sessions and a short synopsis will be announced so that, beyond the authors already involved with proposal with the convenor, other authors dealing with the same topic may join the session. Each Special Session will include a Key Note about the topic.​Following a registering process to open soon, all authors will have a choice to submit their extended abstracts for peer reviewing in a specific Special Session or in a Theme of the Congress. To be considered in the final schedule of the Congress as a Special Session it should include at least four peer reviewed presentations on the topic, including eventual others authors from outside the convener´s proposed team. The Organizing Committee would like to foster a Special Session entitled «Ethical Dilemmas in Groundwater Sustainability for Food Security, and Poverty Alleviation» in memory of Prof. Partha Sarathi Datta, IAPG-India, a member of the Scientific Committee, and a major inspirer for the Congress, that passed away unexpectedly on Aug 13, 2018. Prof. Datta proposed himself to lead this topic. Sponsors for delegates in this Special Session from United Nations Least Developed Countries (UN LDCs) are warmly welcome.

Contact email for the Special Sessions:

Key dates


Official communication and media of the GEOETH&GWM’20:​

The Organizing Committee ensures the protection of the privacy of any personal data collected during your registration, abstract submission, or any other electronic communication, under strict compliance of the EU directive (General Data Protection Regulation) and Portuguese Law. No third parties will have access to personal data. The chair of the Congress assumes the legal position of Nominated Data Protection Officer.