Groundwater Prize


Dr. Herman Bouwer Dr. Herman Bouwer

He is being awarded for his work on artificial recharge of groundwater.

He developed design and management criteria for optimum performance of infiltration basins and for best SAT, especially nitrogen removal.

He and his co-worker, R.C. Rice developed the Bouwer and Rice slug test for measuring hydraulic conductivities of aquifers, and improved cylinder infiltrometer procedures to correct for divergence below the cylinder to obtain a better estimate of vertical infiltration rates as occur in basins.

He also developed procedures for predicting groundwater mound formation below infiltration systems and its effect on infiltration rates. These concepts were also applied to predict effects of groundwater pumping on stream flow.

Winner Profile

Herman Bouwer is a native of the Netherlands, where he survived World War II and the nazi occupation. He got his MS from Wageningen University in drainage and irrigation in 1952, and his Ph.D. in 1955 from Cornell University in the U.S. in soil and water management. After five years in the agricultural engineering department of Auburn University, Alabama, he joined the U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture in Phoenix, Arizona where he worked for 42 years until his retirement, of which 18 years as director. He is best known for his work on artificial recharge of groundwater, especially with sewage effluent to get the benefits of soil-aquifer treatment (SAT) for water reuse, including potable use.

He has served on several US National Academy of Sciences - National Research Council committees, has consulted on numerous recharge projects, received an OECD Fellowship in 1964 for studying recharge in The Netherlands and Germany, and has given seminars and short courses on artificial recharge in the U.S., India, Jordan, Tunesia and Morocco.

Currently he is giving 2-day short courses with David Pyne, where he does surface systems and David well injection systems.

He has also been involved with the American Society of Civil Engineers for developing recharge standards, and with local, national, and international recharge conferences.

He has had faculty positions at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University where he gave semester groundwater hydrology courses for about 20 years.

He has written about 300 publications (mostly as senior author), 12 book chapters and one text book: Groundwater Hydrology, published by McGraw-Hill.

Above all, he tremendously enjoys recharge work because it is so important and interdisciplinary.

Acceptance Speech

Greetings! Sorry I cannot be here with you in person, but because of health reasons I am unable to travel great distances. Thus, appearing on the screen here is the best we can do. First of all I do wish to commend Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz and the Prince Sultan Research Center for Environment, Water, and Desert for establishing these water prizes. They are indeed a welcome recognition of the importance of water and it is only fitting that the prizes are given by a country in an arid region where water is priceless and sustainable use of the resource is a major challenge.

I am deeply touched by the honor you bestowed on me by giving me the prize for groundwater and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I also want to thank the dedicated people that nominated me for this award. They spent a lot of time and effort to prepare a prize winning nomination. Also, the congratulatory responses I have been receiving from my friends and colleagues all over the world have been very rewarding.

Again, I wish you a successful program and conference, and again I thank you very much for the honor.

Winning Work

Bouwer, H., "Artificial recharge of groundwater: hydrology and engineering" Hydrogeology Journal, 10, 121-142, 2002.

Bouwer, H., "Integrated Water Management for the 21st Century: Problems and Solutions", Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, 128(4), 193-202, 2002.

Bouwer, H., R.C. Rice, J.C. Lance, and R.G. Gilbert, "Rapid-infiltration research at Flushing Meadows Project, Arizona" Journal of Water Pollution Control, 1980.

Bouwer, Herman, Groundwater Hydrology, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1978. (book)

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