Speaker: Dr John Cherry
As the first hydrogeologist, and the second Canadian to win this award, I’m delighted, particularly so because this is an important time for groundwater to receive attention.

Groundwater makes up 99% of the world’s fresh liquid water and about 50% of the global population drinks groundwater, most of the world’s rivers are made up of groundwater, and groundwater sustains most ecological systems. In the developed countries. In many areas, groundwater is over exploited. But in the poorest parts of the world, groundwater in general is under exploited. There are hundreds of millions of people who need to use groundwater to have a safe drinking water supply.

My focus on groundwater science is groundwater contamination. And my research occurs in the field. And for this, I go to the field with teams, and we drill holes. And in the bore holes, we installed devices and various types of equipment to measure groundwater flow, to measure pressure, and to make to take samples of groundwater for chemical analyses and for isotope analysis. The purpose then is to get a variety of types of data to piece the puzzle together so that we can understand it so that we can determine how the contamination got there, and where the contamination is going, and what it might do in the future to do harm.

The internet is nearly everywhere around the globe, and this provides a great opportunity to bring groundwater knowledge across the globe to where it’s needed. My current major project is to prepare in collaboration with hundreds of experts from around the globe, hundreds of chapters for an electronic textbook. The goal will be to have these chapters downloadable, free of charge. And the plan is to have them translated into many other languages from English. Soon after the English versions are available. And this way, then we hope that groundwater knowledge can be distributed across the globe and be put into use for societal benefit. I hope that this prize will draw attention to our often forgotten fresh groundwater resources.

I hope that this prize will stimulate more groundwater monitoring, better management, better groundwater protection, so the groundwater can fulfill its its intended role on this planet, for sustaining humanity and for sustaining ecological systems.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai