International Symposium "Coupling Sustainable Sanitation and Groundwater Protection"

Oct 14, 2008 - Oct 17, 2008
Target groups: students, technicians, political decision makers, implementing organisations in the field of sanitation, groundwater specialists
Category: Symposium
The United Nations declared 2008 the International Year of Sanitation (IYS). The Federal Institute of Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) as Germany’s main implementation agency for development cooperation in the field of georesources sees the IYS as a unique opportunity to highlight the immense problems of groundwater pollution due to lacking or inadequate sanitation facilities in developing countries.

Groundwater is worldwide the major source of drinking water supply, especially in arid regions. The protection of groundwater resources from pollution thus is a key element of sustainable human development. Natural groundwater, unaffected by human activities, is free of pathogenic germs. Once such germs have infiltrated into the groundwater, e.g. through leaking sewerage systems, it takes about 50 days until 99 % have vanished. In cases where drinking water wells are located in direct neighbourhood to a pollution source (e.g. cesspits without any further treatment), travel times of the groundwater will be much shorter. This way, water users face increased health risks.

The symposium will serve as a forum for exchange between practitioners of development cooperation, technical and scientific specialists and representatives of political institutions who are committed to substantive support for improved sanitation. It will therefore discuss technical and scientific approaches towards improved sanitation and groundwater protection within a political framework.

The symposium will be complemented by a Market of Opportunities which consists of a poster exhibition showing various technical examples and case studies from different parts of the world. In addition, a small exposition of sanitation solutions will be presented that can be implemented in the development context.

The creation of new partnerships between development organisations and technical implementers should be enhanced through the event. By outlining the state-of-the-art in sanitation and groundwater protection, the symposium will help to bridge the gap between political commitment and technical approaches of different disciplines.

180 €
120 € for students (evidence required)
Geozentrum Hannover
30655 Hannover


PD Dr. Thomas Himmelsbach


+49 (0)511 643 3794


+49 (0)511 643 3661



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