At the invitation of the Government of Hungary, a second international groundwater workshop under the responsibility of the Working Groups on Water Management, Monitoring and Assessment and Water and Health under the UNECE Water Convention took place in Budapest (Hungary) from 8 to 10 November 2001. The title of this international workshop was "The protection of groundwaters used as a source of drinking-water supply".
The importance of groundwater as a source of drinking-water can be illustrated by the fact that in many countries the percentage of groundwater in the overall drinking-water supply exceeds 75%. Often groundwater is the only source for drinking-water supply.
More than 35 experts from almost 20 different countries and organizations (UNESCO, IAEA, UN/ESCWA) participated in this workshop and presented the way how the protection of groundwater is used as a source of drinking-water. All participants gave oral presentations about the national and the international situation and the experiences, practices and problems they encountered. We learned that even in different geological situations the problems are similar. The interest of national and international participants in this workshop shows that groundwater becomes more and more important on national and international level.
The workshop was convened by Hungary's Ministry of Transport and Water Management, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Health. The workshop was organized jointly with the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization (WHO/EURO), the International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO, the International Water Assessment Centre (IWAC), the German national Committee for the International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO and the Operational Hydrology Programme of the World Meteorological Organization under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).