In November 2014, Daniela Benedicto van Dalen joined IGRAC as Researcher. Daniela, who was born in Brazil, was drawn by the international character of IGRAC. "I love the dynamics of working in an international setting", she says. "In addition, IGRAC is an organization with very noble goals that strive for sustainable management of the groundwater resources. Being able to contribute to achieving such goals makes me feel very proud."
Daniela's first assignment after joining IGRAC was to develop a special edition of the Transboundary Aquifers of the World Map (TBA Map). For this special edition, she used updated data and added three thematic maps using the TBA overlay to show the potential of groundwater. In April 2015, the map has been officially launched at the 7th World Water Forum, which was held in Daegu, Korea. An online version of the map has recently been published on the IGRAC website and can be downloaded here.
Currently, Daniela is involved in several projects such as GroFutures and GGRETA. In addition, Daniela will use her network and experience to initiate and lead new projects at IGRAC in the near future. "I will put some efforts on cooperating with South American, and more specifically with Brazilian authorities, for a sustainable groundwater resources management." In addition, one of the topics she will focus on is 'droughts'. "I will explore as well the possibilities of using groundwater resources to mitigate the consequences of droughts (MAR)." Groundwater governance is another subject that interests her as well.
Daniela has academic background in geology and she graduated at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) in Brazil. In the last year of her studies, she followed the disciplines needed to specialize in hydrogeology. "After graduating, I came to Europe and followed the International Programme on Environmental Technology at University of Greenwich/UK," Daniela says.
After finishing her studies, Daniela temporarily worked as Hydrogeologist for few companies: BAM, TNO, Oranjewoud and Aveco de Bondt. "After a couple of years I found a job at ARCADIS, where I worked for almost 9 years as Hydrogeologist," she says. "My work was mainly advising on groundwater issues related to both quantitative and qualitative aspects with an integral water management approach." In this period, Daniela was involved in some international projects. These projects made her realize that such international environment suits her very well and have driven her to start working at IGRAC.