IWRA Webinar N°52


Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visibile

IWRA WWD Webinars:
Future Gazing: Groundwater Action as Climate Action

Groundwater resource management is closely linked to climate change impacts and is important for resilience.  IWRA’s 2022 World Water Day webinars aimed to enable global citizens to ‘see’ groundwater and take a personal view, stance and action. 

The speakers explored challenges, tipping points and triggers for groundwater resource management, and how creativity and innovation offer possibilities and opportunities for the next generations of groundwater resource professionals.

Focus of the IWRA WWD Webinars: Each of the two webinars followed the same format, yet involved different sets of speakers.  The webinars were interactive – in that speakers were asked a series of questions to strike a conversation about the future of groundwater, thinking to 2050 and beyond. The speakers envisioned scenarios that included the potential outcomes if groundwater is not managed sustainably as well as what the world might look like if groundwater is made visible. Moreover, speakers were asked to either envision worst case and innovative cases either as it relates to a specific geographic area, a specific sector (e.g., food, energy, ecosystems), or a specific aspect of groundwater (supply, quality, measuring & evaluating, legal/institutional, etc).  

Speakers included:

  • Yuanyuan Li, Vice President, General Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Planning and Design, Ministry of Water Resources of China, and IWRA President
  • Kevin Pietersen, Research Fellow, University of Western Cape; Fellow, Geological Society;  Senior Fellow, Water Institute of Southern Africa; Co-chair of the International Association of Hydrogeologist (IAH) Transboundary Aquifer Commission
  • Claudia Ruz Vargas, Researcher, International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC)
  • Luciana Scrinzi, Groundwater Resources Specialist, UNESCO – IHP


  • Robert M Kalin, Professor, University of Strathclyde, Scotland
  • Raya Marina Stephan, Water Law Expert, Consultant, and Deputy Editor in Chief, Water International, IWRA

Presentations and recordings available to IWRA members here.


  • Luiz Amore, Project Manager, Environment and Water Resources
  • John Cherry, 2020 Stockholm Water Prize Winner, Stockholm International Water Institute
  • Viviana Re, Associate Professor, Earth Sciences Department – University of Pisa, Italy
  • Rosario Sanchez, Senior Research Scientist, Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI)


  • Amy Hardberger, Texas Tech University
  • Robert M Kalin, Professor, University of Strathclyde, Scotland

Presentations and recordings available to IWRA members here.

IWRA historically hosts 2 Webinars on World Water Day.  These are timed to allow members in Oceana / Asia, and Europe / N America to take part.  This year a working group of the IWRA Groundwater Task Force (GWTF) met and agreed on the topic for the WWD 2022 webinars.

UNESCO is the coordinator, with its centre IGRAC, of the World Water Day 2022 campaign “Groundwater: making the invisible visible”. The campaign will remain active all year and will culminate with the UN-Water Summit on Groundwater (Paris, UNESCO HQ, 6-8 December 2022).

IWRA Webinars constitute an additional resource designed to help our members, academics, dedicated practitioners, and policy professionals further explore these and other timely themes engaging in fruitful discussions, also aligned with the international water agenda and in close collaboration with key partners.