Working Group: MAR in Conferences

Assistance to main conferences organizers to achieve the presence of MAR as a topic in their scientific programmes.

Leaders

Mrs. Daniela Benedicto van Dalen, daniela.benedicto@acaciawater.com (Acacia Water, The Netherlands) and IAH MAR Commission co-chairs, plus future local members.

Motivation

Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) has a wide range of applications on climate change mitigation, from securing water supply, sustaining small-scale agriculture, to preventing and controlling saltwater intrusion and improvement of ecosystem service delivery. Due to these multifold benefits, the presence of MAR-related contributions at specific conferences is increasing but the topics are often scattered among different sessions. To increase the visibility of this technique and better promotion especially in regions with high water demand, MAR-related activities and contributions need to be coordinated for optimal integration in the conference programme.

Recently, Mrs. Daniela Benedicto (Acacia Water, Netherlands) proposed the formation of a new Working Group within the IAH Commission on Managing Aquifer Recharge with the overall objective to boost the impact of MAR-related contributions at international conferences.

Aims

The Working Group “MAR at Conferences” (MAR-CO) aims to assist conference organizers worldwide with the integration of MAR into the conference programmes. Whenever possible, a dedicated session is proposed, together with additional events and side activities.


2020

For 2020, the MAR-CO WG aims to call attention to MAR during the upcoming 47th IAH Congress in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Overall, the initiative aims to share knowledge and best practices on MAR with local professionals and governmental institutions in Brazil, to create awareness of the benefits and importance of MAR, network with the Latin American community during the congress and foster new ideas for future cooperations and pilot projects.

During 2020, the group will pursue the following ideas:

  • Include a special MAR-session in the 47th IAH Congress in São Paulo, adding to the 23 already proposed;
  • Pre-congress course of 1 day to disseminate knowledge and implementation know-how;
  • Propose a Key-note speaker from the MAR-commission to give an overview of MAR globally and present perspectives for Latin America;
  • Publish a so called ‘Position Paper’ on the potential of MAR in Latin America.

Although promotion of MAR at conferences was traditionally a common activity of the co-chairs of the IAH MAR Commission, the assistance from any local member to future connect MAR with conference organizers will be positive beyond any doubt.

Imminent outputs

A proposal was submitted in February 2020 to the organizers of the 47th IAH Congress for a MAR dedicated session, two training courses as side events and a suggestion for a keynote speaker. Daniela volunteered to assist the local organizers, together with the co-chairs of the commission. Nevertheless, further volunteers are welcome to engage in MAR promotion in Brazil and Latin America by spreading the word among national networks, research communities, water authorities etc.

For future conferences we seek to find more volunteers willing to provide assistance to conference organizers in order to increase the presence of MAR in the conference programmes.

Members

Daniela Benedicto van Dalen (Acacia Water, Netherlands), Gisele Kimura (Hidrovia, Brazil), Paulo Galvão (Institute of Geosciences – Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil), Enrique Fernández Escalante (Tragsa Group, Spain), Niels den Hartog (KWR, Netherlands), Arnaud Sterckx (IGRAC, Netherlands), and the members of the Latin American MAR Community of Practice (LatinMAR).