General objectives

Groundwater under pressure

Groundwater is a valuable resource that must be protected, since in Switzerland ~80% of drinking water is obtained from groundwater (incl. spring water). Particularly powerful groundwater deposits are often located along large river courses, which often represent heavily populated areas of Switzerland. Contamination from various sources, anthropogenic influences on the hydrogeological system, and climate change have a major impact on groundwater quality and quantity. In order to grasp and better understand hydrogeological issues and challenges under the pressure of new developments and to work on missing basics, there is a great need for a continuous competence building, technical support and a smooth Switzerland-wide exchange between research and practice. To make a significant contribution to this, the CH-GNet network was created.


Main goal

The primary aim of CH-GNet is to publicise existing research in the field of groundwater and related disciplines and to create a forum for exchange, information and networking. We see ourselves as a link between practice-orientated and basic research.

Further goals

  • To process information and findings from science and make them available to practice. Achieve strong practice-oriented research by investigating groundwater-related problems and developing principles for practice.
  • Organize workshops, webinars, and continuing education.
  • Promote continuous skill building and a smooth exchange of information.
  • Contact point for concerns of the practice to the research.

Through the work of the CH-GNet, the current but also future research central questions are to be made "explicit". Information, developed tools and findings from science are processed and made available to practice. This represents a contribution of research and CH-GNet to society.  Purely scientific facts are developed for the respective main topics. The support of the practice are central here. In the long run, the visibility of groundwater research and the exchange with practice in Switzerland shall be increased.

New political mandates require the development of new technical principles for the implementation of water protection legislation by the cantons and specialist offices in order to achieve an impact in practice. The Groundwater Protection Platform is developing these principles. The distinction between the Swiss Groundwater Network and the Groundwater Protection Platform is shown in the following diagram.

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      IAH World Groundwater Congress

      CH-GNet is pleased to co-organize (Local Scientific Committee) this year's IAH World Groundwater Congress, which will take place from 8 to 13 September in Davos. We are organizing two sessions on "Processes in the Unsaturated Zone" and "Drought Impacts on Groundwater Systems: Processes, Assessment and Prediction". We also have individual presentations and posters.

      Special issue "Geothermal Energy and Groundwater"

      The special issue "Geothermal energy and groundwater" of the journal Grundwasser is planned for early 2025. The transformation of the energy sector, in particular the provision of heat, is crucial to achieving climate targets. Near-surface and deep geothermal energy can make a significant contribution here. The thermal use of groundwater for cooling and heating in shallow aquifers and deep reservoirs offers great potential for decarbonizing the building sector via district and local heating networks or in individual buildings. Geothermal probes and collectors significantly expand the utilization potential even further, bring geothermal energy to the surface and generally benefit in their efficiency from the influence of groundwater flow. The possibility of thermal storage underground via aquifer storage systems offers additional potential for the heat transition in order to cover peak loads with renewable energy and to make the heat supply more flexible.

      Submission of manuscripts by the end of June 2024
      - Review and revision of manuscripts by mid-November 2024
      - Publication of the special issue in March 2025 (Volume 30, Issue 1)

      Position and opinion papers

      Position and opinion papers on the topic of

      with CH-GNet contribution are online and can be downloaded here.

      Announcements & events

      Courses, Workshops, Conferences, Talks:

      02.06.2024 – 06.09.2024 Inversion, Uncertainty Analysis and Problem Decomposition in Decision-Support Modelling- Neuchatel

      08.09.2024 – 13.09.2024 World Groundwater Congress IAH 2024 –Davos

      10.09.2024 – 12.09.2024 Wasserbausymposium Graz 2024 – Graz – 12.09.2024 1. Österreichischer Hochwasseraktionstag – Linz – 20.09.2024 Weiterbildungskurs Seeuferrevitalisierung - Horw – 24.09.2024 Aqua Urbanica 2024 – Graz

      15.10.2024 Grundwasserschutz in Österreich – Herausforderungen, Entwicklungen und neue Ansätze – Wien

      31.10.2024 Fachtagung Wildbäche 2024 - Rapperswil-Jona

      05.11.2024 – 06.11.2024 Wasserbau im Spannungsfeld der Extreme – Gerzensee

      06.11.2024 – 07.11.2024 Going dynamic – the potential of online water monitoring tools -Dübendorf

      07.11.2024 Gewässerraumausscheidung im Fokus – Rechtliche Aspekte und Praxiserfahrungen - Olten

      08.11.2024-09.11.2024 Swiss Geoscience Meeting- Basel

      20.11.2024 – 22.11.2024 5. Workshop zur Alpinen Hydrologie: Ausprägung und Wandel hydrologischer Prozesse im Hochgebirge - Obergurgl

      21.11.2024 Lippuner Fachtagung 2024 – Baden

      28.11.2024 SVGW-Fachtagung «Daten in der Wasserversorgung» - Biel

      13.03.2025 Start CAS „Wasserressourcen im Klimawandel“ – Burgdorf