Objectives and Scope
GwFR2012 focuses on the occurrence and properties of groundwaters in fractured rocks, nowadays the most dynamic developing field in hydrogeology. These rocks exist all over the world, but for a long time were much neglected from the viewpoint of hydrogeology. European hydrogeologists paid attention to the so-called hard rocks in developing countries of Africa where these rocks in many arid and semi-arid areas were the only source of potable water. Hydrogeological studies in temperate climatic zones (thus in most of Europe) were directed mostly at basinal structures. Only the last decade has shown that fractured rocks represent in many respects attractive hydrogeological environments, deserving attention. Other reasons for the change of attitude include:
• Natural groundwater resources of hardrock areas, mainly those originating in mountains as source areas, have been proved large enough to cover water consumption and to maintain flow of water courses in adjacent piedmont zones during dry periods.
• Due to global climatic change water stress, groundwater resources of hardrock areas have become the only sources of drinking water in large areas.
• Regarding possibilities of groundwater abstraction, under the present-day general trend of water demand increase, adequately sited water wells or other water intake systems in hardrock areas typically can cover requirements on water supply for small communities, plants or farms and for domestic water consumption. In some areas groundwater abstraction possibilities are high enough to supply even small towns.
GwFR2012, Groundwater in Fractured Rocks, Prague 2012, follows up previously organized and successful meetings: 24th IAH Congress, in 1993 in Oslo, and the conference "Groundwater in Fractured Rocks" held in 2003 in Prague. GwFR2012 is intended to establish an effective professional forum for presentations and discussions of issues related to fractured rocks hydrogeology, which would give floor to specialists – hydrogeologists, geologists, hydrologists, water resources engineers – from all over the world and also formulate and define prospective trends and strategy in research and methods how to resolve future problems connected with hydrogeology in fractured rocks.