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International Interdisciplinary Conference on MINERAL WATERS

The major objective of the MinWat2014 conference is to bring together four groups of experts:
1.. hydrogeologists and hydrogeochemists who deal with the search for and protection of mineral water resources.This regards hydrogeologists from universities, research institutes and private consultancy firms particularly those interested in thermal and mineral waters, who want to see up-to-date studies on the structure and functioning of such hydrosystems, who want to learn about methodologies they can use to characterise existing springs or springs to be developed in the next future;
2.. professionals involved in distribution of bottled mineral waters whose activities are essentially dependent on the results of hydrogeological exploration. This includes also the managers and hydrogeologists from bottling companies;
3.. professionals for whom the mineral water is a tool used for treatment of various diseases and their prevention. There exists a broad spectrum of issues, which are dealt with in balneology, i.e. balneotherapy and balneotechnics. Experts in this group are represented mostly by physicians who use mineral waters for medicinal procedures, for complex balneotherapy and physiotherapy;
4.. administrations (local, regional, national, European, etc.) that evaluate projects aimed at development of new sources of natural mineral waters. It also includes professionals and administrators involved in designing the regulatory measures for safeguarding and protection of natural mineral water resources.


Theme A is clearly of primary importance to the members of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH).
CONFERENCE STRUCTURE – combination of plenary and parallel presentations
At the beginning of each day, during a plenary session (in one lecture hall), the three parallel sessions (Themes A, B and C) will be introduced by a series of invited keynote lectures. The main objective if these keynote lectures will be the presentation of typical problems existing in the fields of hydrogeology-hydrogeochemistry (Theme A), bottled mineral water (Theme B), and balneology (Theme C) to other colleagues in the audience. These introductory keynote lectures will be relatively easy to follow also for colleagues from other disciplines. By doing so, the experts from, for example, balneology and water bottling will learn about current issues in the field of hydrogeology and hydrogeochemistry, and vice versa, of course.


A.1. The interpretation of the term mineral waters and methods of their utilization in various countries
A.2. Hydrogeological origin and hydrogeochemistry of mineral waters – Hydrogeological conceptual schemes of the structure and functioning of hydromineral systems – New ideas and opinions on the origin and specific types of mineral water (thermal, carbonate, radioactive waters, brines), evolution of mineral waters in different types of rocks environment
A.3. Exploitation and management of mineral waters – Resource assessment and management, modelling of thermal and mineral hydrosystems, estimation of safe yield of mineral waters and quantity of heat stored in thermal water systems
A.4. Protection and conservation – Protection of existing mineral water resources, quality approach, risk assessment, quality protection policies
A.5. Abstraction and transport of mineral and thermal waters, technical problems (corrosion, transport, heat regeneration, hygiene issues, etc.)
A.6. Socio-economic aspects – Socio-economic benefits at the scale of springs,their watersheds and at the regional and national scale
A.7. Case studies on mineral water exploitation and protection – Scientific, technological, economic, social and legal issues

(this theme deals also with public health, but not with treatment of diseases, bodily injuries, etc.)
B.1. Challenges and opportunities of the European bottled water sector
B.2. The original (pristine) purity of natural mineral waters“ – the legislation of the EU, as opposed to that of Czech Republic, does not specify the highest minimum required sensitivity of method detectable levels for chemical analysis methods used to establish the content of anthropogenic constituents, of which the consequence is that the gradual improvement of tools and methods leads to detection of some constituents undetectable before.
B.3. The analysis of contaminants at ultratrace level in water, and how to avoid ‘false positive’ results – Also the issue of emerging contaminants, and how to proceed for analyses with very low threshold
B.4. EU situation in relation to health claims: what can be claimed by mineral water brands based on EU legislation and recent work by European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)? – Mineral waters as part of food, and legislation on health and nutrition, for example (i) Commission regulation (EU) No 432/2012 of 16 May 2012 establishing a list of permitted health claims made on foods, other than those referring to the reduction of disease risk and to children’s development and health, and (ii) Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods
B.5. Safety of packaging: the issue of plastics (the safety of PET bottles)
B.6. Daily intake of mineral waters – links with (i) the definition of natural mineral waters, (ii) contents of natural minerals and its effect on health, and (iii) benefits of mineral waters over drinking water
B.7. Use of mineral waters for children nourishment (mineral waters suitable for preparation of baby food)
B.8. The issue of medicinal effect of bottled mineral waters (specifically highly mineralised waters). – Classification of these waters is not regulated by European legislation and therefore these waters are in some countries considered as food, and health supporting additive in other countries.
B.9. The issue of microbiological quality of natural mineral waters (as no water purification treatment by chlorination or similar method)
B.10. Containers (plastic, etc.) of bottled waters and their impact on the environment – Recycling
B.11. Bottled water in developing countries: Benefit for the whole population or ‘stealing’ water from the poor?

C.1. Medical use of radon-rich mineral waters – locomotion apparatus diseases
C.2. Medical use of carbonated mineral waters – breathing apparatus diseases
C.3. Medical use of the sulphuric waters – skin diseases
C.4. Medical use of mineral waters in the field of gastroenterology
C.5. Treatment of neurological diseases
C.6. Treatment of metabolic disorders
C.7. Treatment of other diseases – dermatology and psychiatry
C.8. Use of mineral waters in the field of sports rehabilitation
C.9. Application of mineral waters for cosmetology
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