Petra Baják PhD student participated in a CHARM-EU “Water Blended Intensive Programme”

Petra Baják, a third-year PhD student applied for the call of the CHARM-EU Joint Virtual Administrative Office to participate in short-term mobility organized for CHARM-EU master’s students, aimed at learning about the relationship between water and sustainability. As a result of her successful application, Petra could spend 3 weeks in South France. 

In the first week of the mobility, she attended the “IAHS2022 XIth Scientific Assembly of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences” conference. Sustainability goals and quality/quantity issues of drinking water supply were the focus of the conference. Petra had the opportunity to present her own research about the examination of the relationship between Lake Velence and groundwater using natural tracers as a poster presentation. 

During the next two weeks, through field examples, the students learned how climate change and human activities affect the natural conditions of surface and groundwater. They visited Montpellier’s main river, the River Lez; a mixed saltwater-freshwater wetland (Villeneuve lès Maguelone wetland) on the coast; and spent a week in the valley of the River Drac. Starting from the source of the river (Champoleon) to the river mouth (Grenoble), they explored the river’s whole catchment area. During the week, they had several detailed conversations with the people living there in order to get to know the activities in the river’s catchment (water sports, fishing, hydropower production, drinking water supply, gravel mining etc.) and to gain insight into the challenges each sector faces as a result of climate change. As a closure of the field exercise, the students formed teams and designed a board game that interactively introduced the River Drac and the challenges and future changes affecting the river to the players. 

Petra’s trip was also supported by the Hydrogeology Chair and Foundation.