Thank you to everyone who attended the 36th annual IAH (Irish Group) conference in Tullamore Court Hotel, Co. Offaly, that was held on the 12th-13th April 2016.

We were delighted to welcome esteemed international experts Prof. John M. Sharp, Prof. Beth Parker and Prof. Kevin Hiscock as our keynote speakers this year. The two-day event also included a 40th anniversary celebration of the Irish chapter of IAH, as well as a host of Irish and International speakers presenting on topics relevant to today’s hydrogeological practitioner.

Dr. John M. Sharp is Professor of Geology at the University of Texas. He is a past recipient of the C.V. Theis Award from the American Institute of Hydrology for outstanding contributions to groundwater hydrology. Prof. Sharp’s hydrogeological research covers groundwater flow in fractured rocks, regional groundwater flow in carbonate rocks, and effects of urbanization on water resources protection and management. He has supported IAH activities throughout his long and distinguished career, and edited the IAH Select Paper on Fractured Rock Hydrogeology in 2014.

At the IAH conference, Prof. Sharp discussed his experiences to speak on “Sustainability of groundwater resources: conceptual evolution, opportunities & challenges”.

Dr. Beth Parker is Professor at the School of Engineering and Director of the G360 Centre for Applied Groundwater Research at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. She was awarded the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Industrial Chair in Fractured Rock Contaminant Hydrogeology in 2007 and currently serves as a member of the Canadian Council of Academies Panel on the Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas Development. Her current research is focused on developing improved field and laboratory methods for characterizations and monitoring of industrial contaminants in sedimentary rocks, clayey deposits and heterogeneous aquifers, as well as the effects of diffusion in low permeability zones, plume attenuation and hydrogeologic controls on remediation.

At the IAH conference, Prof. Parker shared her latest research findings on “Contaminant plume characteristics in sedimentary rock aquifers: Insights from field research”.

Dr. Kevin Hiscock is Professor of Environmental Sciences in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, UK. He is author of the book “Hydrogeology: principles and practice”, first published in 2005. His interdisciplinary research interests are in hydrochemistry, environmental isotopes and the impacts of land use and climate change on groundwater resources at regional and global scales, with specific contributions to the understanding of groundwater recharge, flow and nutrient fate and transport processes. Most recently, his hydrogeological research on nitrate and phosphorus transfers to agricultural headwater streams is of direct relevance to the Integrated Catchment Management programme which was initiated by the Environmental Protection Agency in Ireland in 2014.

Prof. Hiscock was a welcome guest to Tullamore for a second time. On this occasion, we benefited from his conclusions on “Implications of Climate Change on Groundwater Resources”.