Groundwater, key to the sustainable development goals

Pre-Conference Webinars

Coordinated by IAH-CFH and FWP and contributing to the 8th and 9th phases of UNESCO IHP,
introductory webinars are organized to introduce the upcoming May 2022 International Conference

Second Webinar - November 25, 2021

French/English simultaneous interpretation will be provided


  • Through technical presentations and case studies with a regional focus, this webinar will explore the role and importance of the sustainable management of groundwater in the context of the SDGs and the SDG water-related targets, as well as underline the vital importance of preserving the quality and availability of groundwater in the face of climate change and increasing pressures on the resource.
  • Following a first introductory webinar (May 27, 2021) and our ‘Save the date’ message of 14 October, this webinar is the second in a series of three. It will also continue to update participants on the upcoming International Conference on Groundwater and the SDGs (‘Groundwater: Key to the Sustainable Development Goals’). Co-organized by the French Chapter of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (CFH-AIH), UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (UNESCO IHP), and the French Water Partnership (FWP), the Conference will take place in Paris on 18-20 May 2022 under the patronage of the French National Commission for UNESCO and with the support of the French Ministry of the Ecological Transition, the Seine-Normandy Water Agency, and Sorbonne University.
  • The main goals of the 2022 International Conference are to examine the overall relationship between groundwater and the water-related SDG targets, as well as to produce recommendations and share knowledge, experiences, findings and best practices on the role of sustainable groundwater management in setting sustainable development trajectories.


Agenda and Speakers

Moderation: Nathalie DÖRFLIGER, Chair of the French National Committee of UNESCO IHP & Danone WATERS

Welcoming remarks : Marie-Laure VERCAMBRE, Director-General, French Water Partnership


  • Groundwater and the SDGs: Gérard PAYEN, Vice-president, French Water Partnership and former member of the UN Secretary General’s advisory board on water and sanitation (UNSGAB)
  • Sustainable groundwater management and protection at EU scale – An increasing challenge: Laurence GOURCY (BRGM, France) and Klaus HINSBY (GEUS, Denmark)               
  • Groundwater and the challenge of managing an invisible water resource. The contribution of socio-economic tools: Marielle MONTGINOUL (INRAE, France)      
  • Groundwater and transboundary cooperation (SDG indicator 6.5.2) and the South American and African perspectives:
    • Aurélien DUMONT, Associate Project Officer, UNESCO Division of Water Sciences, Paris
    • Alberto MANGANELLI, Executive Director. Regional centre for groundwater management for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEREGAS, Water-related Category II Centre under the auspices of UNESCO), Uruguay and           
    • Callist TINDIMUGAYA, Commissioner for Water Resources Planning and Regulation, Ministry of Water and Environment of Uganda             


  • Presentation of the 2022 Conference: Patrick LACHASSAGNE, President, French Chapter, IAH
  • The perspective of African youth: Fatimatou SALL, President, Association of Water and Sanitation Young Professionals of Senegal (AJPEAS)
  • Q&A between the panellists and the participants about the technical presentations and the future conference (20 min.)  



First Webinar - May 27, 2021

May 2021 Webinar banner








This webinar was organized with the financial and logistical support of UNESCO IHP
which is warmly acknowledged (interpretation, pre- and post-webinar communication, visioconference logistics, etc).


Introductory calls

Abou AMANI, UNESCO, Director, Division of Water Sciences
Dave KREAMER, President, International Association of Hydrogeologists


Agathe EUZEN, CNRS, Ecology and Environment Institute, France
Sustainability Science Scientific Deputy-Director
Introduction to SDGs, and to the role of groundwater

Stéphane GILLIS, Managing Director, SDDEA, France
How a local government integrates water-related SDGs within its local policy:
SDDEA 2100 strategy for integrated and sustainable water management (Aube, France)

Christian SZACOWNY, Multi Actors Regional Network Great-East, France
The use of groundwater by NGOs. Links with SDGs. Hopes and knowledge.
Experience feedback in Africa and South-East Asia

Nathalie DÖRFLIGER, Jehanne FABRE, Danone Waters/Water Cycle  
International Corporate Groundwater management responsibility to achieve SDG’s
Sciences-based challenges to fully accomplish a Water Stewardship.
Examples of water and dairy plants watersheds in Indonesia and South-Africa

Debate between speakers and web-participants

Questions/reactions about the speeches
Proposals to feed the 2022 Conference (content, form)

Synthesis – Concluding remarks

Gérard PAYEN, French Water Partnership
Patrick LACHASSAGNE, Hydrogeologist, IAH French Chapter President



544 unique participants connected during the webinar, and the attendance was about 450 continuously.

Participants were from 120 different countries, the top ten being: France, USA, India, Morocco, Italy, Mexico, Germany, UK, South Africa, and Nigeria.

Several participants came also, by order of decreasing importance:
from the other European countries, Algeria, Canada, Sénégal, Tunisia, Thailand, Ivory Coast.


Contribution of the Webinar to the May 2022 Conference

A post webinar survey showed, among other results, the interest and satisfaction of the participants:
98% of the answers rated the “organization” and “interest” of the webinar as “excellent” or “good”, with very positive verbatims.

The participants highlighted the quality of the organization, and the translation, provided by UNESCO.

96% of the answerers intend to participate to any another webinar on the same topic, and 92% to the 2022’s Conference, with a slight majority (55%) intending to come physically to Paris.

Participants also provided valuable inputs that will be of great use to organize
the conference and next webinars.