19 April 2010
Water experts from international consultancy, WYG will share their expertise in sustainable groundwater development and flooding at the annual International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) conference in Tullamore this week.
The annual two-day IAH conference will take place on 20 - 21 April, and will address groundwater recharge, flow and discharge, industry pressures, legal protection and the impact of climate change in Ireland.
The event, entitled “Groundwater in the Hydrological Cycle - Pressures and Protection” will take place at the Tullamore Court Hotel in Co Offaly and will be opened by Teri Hayes, President of the Irish Association of Hydrogeologists and Environmental Services Director at WYG Ireland.
Over 200 delegates from across Ireland are expected to attend.
Among the line-up of water experts speaking at the event are Gerry Baker, Principal Hydrogeologist and Conor Warner, Associate Engineer from WYG Ireland’s environmental and engineering divisions.
Gerry, a hydrogeologist with 9 years experience in groundwater development, hydrogeological analysis, site investigation, groundwater modeling and environmental impact assessment will present on the topic of “Groundwater Supply Development in Sand and Gravel Aquifers”, highlighting the importance of gravel aquifers in Irish Hydrogeology.
Gerry said: “Gravel Aquifers support large groundwater abstractions, baseflow to rivers and Groundwater Dependent Terrestrial Ecosystems. It is crucial that we understand the mechanisms which influence groundwater flow and quality in the aquifers as there are significant differences between the hydrogeology of gravel aquifers and bedrock aquifers which is largely related to the intergranular nature of groundwater flow and the higher storage provided by gravel aquifers.
“Key to successfully developing gravel aquifer supplies is an informed drilling programme with detailed design and suitable equipment,” he added.
Conor Warner, Associate Engineer, WYG Ireland will be presenting a case study, alongside Mary Burke from Clare County Council’s Environment Section, called “Multiple Flooding Mechanisms in Ennis, November 2009”.
Mary will outline how Clare County Council reacted to the flooding emergency and its impact on the residential and business areas, while Conor will present a paper summarising where, how and why Ennis town and its environs flooded last November, emphasising the unexpected magnitude of karst and groundwater to surface water discharge flooding that occurred. He will also update delegates on the measures taken to protect Ennis town centre from flooding via the Ennis flood alleviation scheme.
Conor has over 13 years experience of civil engineering works in wastewater schemes, flood studies, water supply and conservation projects, including site supervision of large urban developments and civil works. He is particularly experienced in flood studies, the design and administration of flood alleviation schemes and design, contract administration and project management of sewerage and road schemes.
Image of Harmony Hill, Ennis – Flooding at Harmony Row, Ennis. The existing river wall will be rehabilitated and a new surface water system will be constructed in this area as part of the Ennis Flood Alleviation Scheme Phase 2 – Photo courtesy of Conor Warner, WYG Ireland.