Dec 03, 2009

Chinese Delegation Visits NGWA to Learn About Effects of Climate Change on Groundwater Supplies

Group hears presentations and tours Westerville, Ohio, water treatment facility and monitoring wells

A 12-member Chinese delegation studying the effects of climate change on groundwater supplies visited the National Ground Water Assn. (NGWA) to learn about the issue.

The Chinese group is involved in the International Project on the Climate Change Effect on Groundwater through Monitoring. This project is supported by the United Nations Intl. Children’s Emergency fund.

Presentations to the delegation included Ganming Liu of Ohio State University on “Monitoring Lakes from Space;” Gerry Allen, Ph.D. candidate, Ohio State University, on “Key lessons from Groundwater Practice;” and Andrew Smith, Ranney Collector Wells Intl., Columbus, Ohio, on “Understanding Collector Well Systems.”

Later, the group toured the Westerville, Ohio, water treatment facility and nearby monitoring wells.

“We learned a lot from the association,” said Zhanyi Gao, Ph.D., deputy director general of the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research. “It is a very good organization that looks after the groundwater. In China, we have the opportunity to improve our technology in groundwater management. Due to climate change, surface water has become less dependable, so we have to rely more on groundwater. Groundwater is more difficult to manage than surface water. We can improve our groundwater management in China.”

NGWA Executive Director Kevin McCray said the global need for sufficient supplies of drinking water is drawing the groundwater community closer together.

“It was a privilege to reciprocate in hosting this delegation of Chinese groundwater scientists and engineers, particularly after a group of NGWA members visited China last year,” McCray said. “That NGWA headquarters was one of three select destinations for this group illustrates that the association is internationally recognized and appreciated. Science breaks down many barriers, and NGWA members certainly benefit from the shrinking of the world.”