IGRAC and UNESCO-IHP organise training for Uzbek groundwater professionals


IGRAC and UNESCO-IHP have organised a one-week training course on ‘Advanced Groundwater Monitoring and Analysis’ for groundwater professionals from Uzbekistan. This course took place at the UNESCO-IHE office based in Delft, the Netherlands, from 19 to 23 October 2015. In addition to the programme at UNESCO-IHE, field trips were organised to the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen and Royal Eijkelkamp.

Groundwater Resources Assessment

Groundwater resources assessment was the main topic discussed during the first day. After he had given a warm welcome to all participants, IGRAC Director Neno Kukuric gave an introduction on IGRAC’s activities, particularly in the field of groundwater assessment. Afterwards, Vice Rector Stefan Uhlenbrook introduced UNESCO-IHE, the UNESCO institute for water education which had a contribution to the content of this training course. Suren Gevinian, who represented UNESCO-IHP during the course, gave a presentation on IHP’s activities in Central Asia. In order to have a good understanding on the current state of Uzbekistan’s groundwater resources, Head of International Department and State Committee on Geology and Mineral Resources Azam Kadirhodjaev gave a very informative presentation as well. 

Groundwater Information Systems

After these introductory sessions, the attention was shifted to data collection and analysis. Neno Kukuric kicked off this part of the course by giving a presentation on IGRAC Global Groundwater Information System (GGIS), which is an interactive, web-based portal to groundwater-related information and knowledge. Then IGRAC Researcher Nienke Ansems gave a more detailed demonstration of this information management system followed by a Q&A session. In conclusion, the session on the information system was concluded with some input from participants regarding requirements and suggested improvements for the system.

Later Nienke Ansems and Neno Kukuric focused on the Global Groundwater Monitoring Network programme (GGMN), which is an IGRAC initiative that facilitates periodic assessments of changes in groundwater quantity and quality by aggregating data and information from existing groundwater monitoring networks and regional hydrogeological knowledge. Geert-Jan Nijsten, Senior Researcher at IGRAC, explained how he dealt with data and information management within the framework of TWAP Groundwater.

Groundwater Monitoring

On Wednesday, the morning programme was offered by Yangxiao Zhou, Associate Professor at UNESCO-IHE, who lectured on ‘Groundwater monitoring in the Netherlands and beyond’. Firstly, he gave an overview of how groundwater monitoring was organised in the Netherlands. Afterwards, Zhou focused on methodologies for the design of groundwater monitoring networks. 

After this informative morning programme, the group gathered for a field trip to the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen (AWD). Frank Smit and Marit Jekkers showed all participants around the AWD, which is a nature reserve that also helps supply drinking water for Amsterdam. The hundreds of dunes of the AWD filter rainwater, the first step in the process of creating fresh drinking water for the city’s residents.

Groundwater Quality Analysis

Also the Thursday morning programme on groundwater quality analysis was provided by UNESCO-IHE. Associate Professor Jan Willem Foppen gave a lecture that touched on the basics of hydrogeology, transport of mass in the subsurface, hydrochemical processes and acid-base reactions.

Groundwater Monitoring Equipment

The final day of this training course was a full-day field trip to Royal Eijkelkamp. After an introduction on Royal Eijkelkamp’s activities, Export Manager for Asia Barry Leuverman gave a presentation on water quality and quantity sampling and monitoring. In the afternoon, Leuverman gave demonstrations on care-free monitoring systems and monitoring-telemetric data transmission.