The Groundwater Project

About The Groundwater Project

Many important global organizations have concluded that there is a global freshwater crisis. In the past two years both the UN and UNESCO have convened major conferences on the crisis. A key factor in the evolution of this crisis – and the lack of substantial effort to reverse its disastrous trajectory – is the minimal awareness and understanding of groundwater beyond the groundwater science community (i.e., professional hydrogeologists) and the scarcity of human expertise and organizational capabilities to analyze and solve groundwater problems. Our motivation is to address these related issues through education and, where possible, technical assistance, especially in the developing world.

To enhance prospects for expansion of human capacity in groundwater problem solving and public understanding of ‘all things groundwater’, the Groundwater Project was initiated in 2017. The Groundwater Project is a volunteer-based, charitable nonprofit organization (NGO) registered in Canada and global in scope. It is committed to the advancement of groundwater understanding and awareness by creating and making high-quality groundwater learning materials in many languages available for download free of charge from its website (

The GW-Project is led by Dr. John Cherry, recipient of the 2020 Stockholm Water Prize, GW-Project Leader, and Chair of the Board of Directors. The GW-Project manages key activities with a small staff and the support of a Board of Directors and relies on over 1000 volunteers (authors, reviewers, editors, translators).

Project Background Document (English) (Portuguese) (Spanish) (Mandarin

Vision and Plans 2023 to 2028 (English) (Portuguese) (Spanish) (Mandarin)

Newsletter Spring 2024 (English) (Portuguese) (Spanish

List of Books Published, Translated, and in Progress (English)

The Project Leader’s View of The Global Groundwater Crisis by John Cherry (English) (Portuguese) (Spanish)

Ground water
Cover of the book Groundwater by Freeze and Cherry
Photo of Allan Freeze
Dr. Allan Freeze
Photo of John Cherry
Dr. John Cherry


The Groundwater Project has its roots in 2015 after Cathryn Ryan at the University of Calgary initiated the transfer of rights for the famous Groundwater textbook (Freeze & Cherry, 1979) back to their authors. To advance the state of the science worldwide, the authors then agreed to provide free downloads of the original text and translations through the Hydrogeologists Without Borders website.

This laudable initiative provided the inspiration for the much larger Groundwater Project aimed at updating and expanding the coverage of the original book. More than 20 institutions are partnering with us and we welcome others. The Groundwater Project was initiated in 2017 and registered in 2019 to cover nearly all aspects of groundwater relevant to both developed and developing countries.

Board of Directors

Photo of John Cherry

John Cherry
Adjunct Professor, University of Guelph
Professor Emeritus, University of Waterloo

Photo of Shafick Adams

Shafick Adams
Executive Manager at the Water Research Commission
South Africa

Gabriel Eckstein - member of the board of directors

Gabriel Eckstein
Professor of Law
Texas A&M University School of Law

Photo of Richard Jackson

Richard Jackson
Fellow, Geofirma Engineering Ltd.
Adjunct Professor,
University of Waterloo

Photo of Ineke Kalwij

Ineke Kalwij
President & Principal Hydrogeologist Kalwij Water Dynamics Inc.

Renee Martin Nagle

Renée Martin-Nagle
President and CEO A Ripple Effect

photo of Everton de Oliviera

Everton de Oliveira
President, Hidroplan
Director, Sustainable Water Institute

Photo of Marco Petita

Marco Petitta
Professor of Hydrogeology at Sapienza
University of Rome

Photo of Eileen Poeter

Eileen Poeter
Professor Emeritus
Colorado School of Mines

Groundwater Project Staff

Photo of Amanda Sills

Amanda Sills
Director of Operations
Photo of Translation Coordinator

Emily Horodezny
Translation Coordinator