At the recently-completed Ground Water Summit we had a great session Tuesday night. Some of the world's greatest groundwater scientists and engineers were assembled and asked to give their informal assessment of where groundwater study is (or should be) headed and in what things hydrogeologists will become involved, or just make any comments they wished.
The group consisted of Mary Anderson (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Shlomo Neuman (University of Arizona), Emil Frind (University of Waterloo), Robert Gillham (University of Waterloo), Frank Schwartz (The Ohio State University), Lenny Konikow (USGS), Mary Hill (USGS), and Stavros Papadopulous (S.S. Papadopulous and Associates). Mike Barcelona of Western Michigan University served as MC.
Here are some of the items they listed:
Truly integrated models
Changes in professional societies
Transboundary and energy issues
Characterization of infiltration and recharge, especially in arid regions
Use of non-invasive methods
Surface water-groundwater interactions
Impacts of agricultural practices on groundwater quality
Flow and transport multi-scale modeling under uncertainty
Hydrogeologic characterization on multiple scales (vadose and saturated zones)
Groundwater to supply drinking water to the world's impoverished
Utilization of brackish groundwater
Adapting to limits of knowledge
Slow pace of progress - keep doing SOS - some in mathematical "la-la land"
Lack of encouragement for interdisciplinary studies
Find some interesting problems!
Five specific types of models were mentioned:
Inegrated with geology
Analysis of data uncertainty
Impressive list - anything missing?
One maven's advice: "Get up and get moving - find some interesting problems! Cherry-pick good problems, let someone else cherry-pick bad problems."
And kudos to Summit co-chairs Bernadette Conant and Tim Parker, their committee, and the NGWA staff for an excellent job!
"A word to the wise isn't necessary - it's the stupid ones who need the advice." -- Bill Cosby