This joint congress emerges from an Agreement for Cooperation signed on 5 April 2017 about common grounds by the IAH – International Association of Hydrogeologists ( IAPG – International Association for Promoting Geoethics ( Following its terms, the international Congress “GEOETHICS & GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT: THEORY AND PRACTICE FOR A SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” – GEOETH&GWM’20 – aims for the first global approach on the vast subjects of Geoethics in Groundwater management and its recognized need of reflection for correct and prudent actions.

​GEOETH&GWM’20 convenes groundwater specialists, scholars and professionals, as well as educators, students, and early career colleagues in the first specialized world forum for discussing theory and practice, sharing values, knowledge, research, educational projects, best practices and strategies aiming at the responsible integrated management of groundwater resources for a resilient and sustainable future.

In a world asking for answers, GEOETH&GWM’20 has the goal to present a scientific and professional community capable of proposing synergetic cultural and practical answers to complex problems affecting society.

Special Session SS5

Groundwater: geological, legal, social, and ethical challenges of a unique natural resource – in memoriam Professor Luís Ribeiro (IST|U.Lisbon)

Convenor: Patrícia Ferraz de Matos, Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal

This Special Session aims to reflect on the challenges that groundwater, as a unique natural resource, raises, both in the present as well as in the past, and in different geographical contexts (Europe, Latin America, North Africa, and Asia).

The contributions include aspects related to climate change, sustainability, and efficiency, in rural and urban contexts. It is intended to have technical perspectives from hydrogeology and groundwater, but also take into account aspects provided in the law that protect, or not, groundwater, and to reflect on the effects that these subjects have on people’s lives, seeking, whenever possible, a social perspective, since the reflection on ethics should include this knowledge and the learnings acquired with the ethnographic methodology.

The session has two keynote presentations, one on the protection and management of groundwater and another on the groundwater-fed plot-and-berm agroecosystems. It also has eight presentations on subjects that include ancestral groundwater techniques, governance and social participation, management of aquifer systems (with also a presentation on a special aquifer system), and impressive examples of music inspired in groundwater and the hydrological cycle.

The purpose of the presentations is to articulate the knowledge of geology, and specifically about groundwater, with the ethical issues raised, seeking to contribute with new approaches.


  • Ancestral groundwater techniques and ethics;
  • Governance and social participation;
  • Sustainable management of aquifer systems;
  • Impressive examples of the music inspired in groundwater and the hydrological cycle;
  • Interlinkage of the knowledge of geology, and groundwater, with ethical issues.

Informação detalhada sobre a SS5

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