Dr Herman Bouwer and his wife


Herman Bouwer had a long and distinguished career and was one of the world’s leading researchers in water resources management, particularly in the area of managed aquifer recharge. He authored more than 300 publications including 12 book chapters and the textbook Ground Water Hydrology (McGraw -Hill, 1978). He served on several US National Academy of Sciences  


National Research Council committees, consulted on numerous recharge projects, received an OECD Fellowship in 1964 for studying recharge in The Netherlands and Germany, and gave seminars and short courses on artificial recharge in the U.S., India, Jordan, Tunisia, and Morocco. He was a native of The Netherlands, where he survived World War II and the Nazi occupation.  


He received his MS from Wageningen University in drainage and irrigation in 1952, and his Ph.D. in 1955 from Cornell University in soil and water management. After five years in the Agricultural Engineering Department of Auburn University, Alabama, he joined the U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture in Phoenix, Arizona where he worked for 43 years and served 18 years as Director. He retired in early 2002.  


In 2004, Herman received the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water for his work on underground water movement with emphasis on artificial recharge, water reuse, and surface and groundwater interactions.  


Herman took a significant portion of the award money and gave it to the Arizona Hydrologic Society (AHS) to establish the AHS foundation with the intent to provide long-term assured funding for annual scholarships to assist outstanding and deserving students in water resources.  


In honor of Dr. Bouwer’s significant role in advancing our understanding of managed aquifer recharge, the Groundwater Resources Association of California (GRA) and Arizona Hydrological Society (AHS) have created the Herman Bouwer Award. The award will be presented every two years at the Biennial Symposium on Managed Aquifer Recharge (BSMAR) to the person or agency that has significantly advanced the understanding or utilization of MAR.  



Members of the GRA and AHS can submit nominations for the award; however, sitting board members or branch officers are ineligible for the award.  The BSMAR planning committee will select the award winner.  Money raised for the award will be given to GRA/AHS student scholarship funds to be given to students studying MAR related topics.