Emeritus Professor of Hydrogeology
Complutense University


IEDM Area of Expertise
Environment - Water

Civil Engineering, Polytechnic University of Madrid, Ph.D.
Geology, Complutense University of Madrid, Ph.D.

Prof. M. Ramon Llamas is currently emeritus professor of Hydrogeology at the Complutense University of Madrid. Since 1986 he is a Fellow of Spain’s Royal Academy of Sciences. He chaired the Section of Natural Sciences (2000- 2008) and the International Relations Committee (2003-present) in this Academy. He is also a fellow of the Spanish Royal Academy of Doctors (2008). Fellow of the European Academy of Science and Arts (2005).

He spent fifteen years as a hydraulic engineer in the Directorate General of Hydraulic Works and two years in the in the Center for Land Use Planning and Environment, both entities in the Ministry of Public Works of Spain. He worked initially in conventional hydraulics and engineering geology and later concentrated on water planning with emphasis in groundwater resources evaluation, development and management. The last years he has worked mainly in Water Policy, with emphasis in Water Ethics and the virtual water role in rethinking water and food security.

In 1972 he became the first tenured Professor of Hydrogeology in Spain. A good number of the now more than fifty tenured professors in this field in Spanish Universities have been his graduate students and /or coworkers. Since 1972 his main duties have been university teaching and research on water resources. He is author or co-author of nearly hundred books or monographs and almost four hundred scientific papers. Also, during the last decade he developed general water education programs for the media (newspapers, radio and television). The Spanish Club of Energy gave him the Award for scientific popularization in 1996. In 1990 he was nominated “Citoyen d’Honneur” by the Council of the French town Murviel-les Montpellier as recognition for his report on the ecological impact of a landfill that was planned to locate in that Municipality. He has received the Cannes International Great Prize for Water in 2006. Member of the French Academie de l’Eau (2006).

He was President of the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) from 1984 to 1989. In 2002 was appointed IAH Honorary Member. In 1992 he was appointed Honorary Fellow of the Geological Society of the United Kingdom. From 2001 to 2003 he has been Vice-President of the International Association of Water Resources (IWRA) In 2005 was appointed IWRA Fellow. He has been coordinator of the UNESCO WORKING GROUP ON THE ETHICS OF THE USE OF FRESH WATER RESOURCES (1998-1999) He was a member of the Water Commission of the British Charity World Humanity Action Trust (WHAT) (1997-1999). He has been a member (1996-1998) of the Board of Trustees of the two Spanish National Parks, which include relevant wetlands in their precincts: Doñana y Tablas de Daimiel.

Between 1986 and April 1998 he was a member of the Executive Committee of the Spanish NGO CODESPA. This is a charity with a current annual budget about US$ eight million to promote sustainable development in developing countries. Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the International NGO "Action against Hunger" (1999-2004).

He was the designer and Director of a large research program (4.5 years long and one million € funding) launched in 1999 by the Spanish Foundation Marcelino Botín on the role of groundwater resources on water policy. This project was completed in March 2003 and presented in the Third World Water Forum in Osaka. A total of nine books and thirteen monographs have been published within this project. He has continued to work with the Botin Foundation and in 2008 was appointed Director of the WATER OBSERVATORY of this Foundation (www.fundacionmbotin.org).