Robert A. Bisson (rbisson@watermap.com)

Robert A. Bisson founded his first natural resources exploration company, BCI Geonetics, Inc. (BCI) in 1972. At the time, Bisson’s prior research and field experience spanned nine years, working with pioneers in marine research and ocean exploration (e.g. JY Cousteau, Willard Bascom, Robert Snyder) and economic resources development, including gas, oil and other undersea minerals in Europe, Africa, North America and the Caribbean. In the early 1970s at BCI, he developed unprecedented natural resources mapping projects employing Plate Tectonics Theory, air and space-borne remote sensing techniques and manipulating digital and analog geospatial data using a BCI-invented digital Geographic Information System (he named it the Land Resources information System, or LRIS), combining geographic outputs form modern geotectonic modeling methods with airborne and satellite remote sensing data and interpretive techniques created by Bisson and his teams.

 

While executing one such project, focusing on predicting geospatial characteristics of petroleum fluids migration in the crystalline rocks of America’s Thrust Sheets, Bisson recognized that the Earth’s crust leaks profusely in regions with active tectonic histories. As he continued to improve and apply his integrated resource evaluation methods in projects ranging from precious metals and uranium exploration to land use planning and ecological analysis, Bisson kept encountering large quantities of amazingly fresh and sustainable groundwater in fracture zones within hard-rock mineral target areas. In the late 1970s gold prices fell precipitously and New England was entering a long period of serious drought and drinking water shortages, and Bisson focused on adapting his unique technologies to fractured bedrock groundwater development.

 

He gradually built a new water business aimed at solving municipal water problems in “hard rock” areas throughout New England, where surface waters and shallow aquifers were failing, and traditional hydrologists and conventional drillers were unable to identify or develop significant quantities of potable water from bedrock. Bisson’s firm contracted with towns, cities and private utilities and consistently produced well yields averaging over 300,000 gallons per day (gpd), with several wells exceeding 600,000 gpd in areas where prior conventionally sited and drilled wells had averaged only 3,000 - 6,000 gpd. Along the way, he employed forward-thinking drillers, and he greatly advanced water drilling techniques to meet the many challenges of successfully completing such high-yield wells in fractured bedrock. Over the ensuing 30 years, Bisson refined and applied his innovative technologies and programs to explore and develop these high-volume groundwater resources.

 

In 1987 Bisson coined the term “Megawatershed” and described his discovery in a technical report to the USAID mission in Khartoum regarding the deep groundwater resources potential of all of northern Sudan. He later published the results of his work in Sudan’s Red Sea Province in several technical papers defining the term “Megawatershed Paradigm” as a revolutionary concept of fresh, renewable groundwater transmission and storage in regional fracture systems. In 2004 he co-authored (with Dr. Jay H. Lehr) a text book Modern Groundwater Exploration (John Wiley & Sons) on the subject and contributed the article defining the “Megawatershed Paradigm” to the 2005 edition of the five-volume Water Encyclopedia (John Wiley & Sons). Today the Megawatershed theory has entered the lexicon of modern hydrological terms.

 

For over 40 years, Bisson has built and led new teams in the discovery and development of Megawatersheds in the Americas, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Caribbean and has identified Megawatershed potential worldwide. Both BCI-Geonetics, Inc. and Bisson’s successor ventures identified unprecedented quantities of fresh water in fractured bedrock terrains and performed groundwater exploration programs across the United States. Under contracts with the United States Agency for International Development (“USAID”), Bisson implemented Megawatershed exploration programs in Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. He later developed private sector JV projects in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Egypt.

 

In 1993 Bisson co-founded EarthWater Technology International, Inc. (ETI) and designed and executed high-volume, more lucrative Build-Transfer (“BT”) Megawatersheds projects contracts in Trinidad and Tobago. After 10 years, ETI’s wells continue to produce as predicted, with over 25 million gallons per day delivered to consumers. This represents the most successful groundwater development project in the history of the Caribbean Basin.

 

In 2006 ETI (technology partner) and newly formed NY-based Aqua Development (financing partner) (AD) formed EarthWater Global, LLC to capitalize on Bisson’s proprietary Megawatershed exploration technology, archived data and unique track record. They were successful over the next three years in significantly raising the profile of the Megawatershed Paradigm in the world community, including in the multilaterals such as World Bank, IMF, AFDB and the UN, resulting in broad endorsement of the concept and business model in these vitally important institutions.

 

In August 2010, Mr. Bisson co-founded Earthwater Technologies Inc. (ETI) and later its sister firm Earthwater Resources LLC. As a board member (until resigning in 2015) and ETI’s E&P Team leader, he worked closely with the Company’s Chief Science Officer Dr. Robert Walter using their 70 combined years of exploration team-building skills, pipeline of prospective clients and global network to evaluate, develop and successfully implement Megawatershed exploration & water production contracts worldwide.

 

Representative Projects in the Evolution of the Megawatershed Paradigm

Afghanistan (2003, 2010)

Argentina (2009-10)

Belize (1974 & 1997)

Botswana (1985; 1990; 1998; 2009; 2014)

Botswana, Namibia & South Africa (1983 - 1992)

Brazil (2009-10)

California (1986-2015)

Canada Western Provinces (2010-15)

Chile (2010, 2014-15)

China (2008-10)

Egypt (1987-1990)

Ethiopia (1992)

Germany (2009-10)

Ghana (2007-10)

India (1997-08; 2008-09)

Indonesia (2008)

Iraq (1984)

Ireland (1980-85; 2013-15)

Israel (1983; 1993-95; 2008-10)

Jordan (1983; 1993-95; 2008-10)

Malaysia (1997; 2008-10)

Mali (1981-82)

Mexico (2010-2015)

Mozambique (1987; 1997)

Namibia (1985)

Nepal (1997-08; 2008-09)

Nevada (1992 - 1993)

North Dakota (2012-15)

Peru (2009)

Salem, New Hampshire (1979 - 1981)

Seabrook, New Hampshire (1981 - 1982)

Singapore (1997; 2008-10)

Somalia (1984 - 1986)

South Africa (1985-2015)

Sudan (1987 - 1990)

Syria (1984; 1994-96)

Taiwan (1995; 2009)

Texas (2012-15)

Tobago (1999 - 2000)

Trinidad (2000 - 2002)

Tunisia (1996-98)

Turkey (2007-12)

Twentynine Palms City Water District, California (1989)

UK (2008-15)

Ukraine (2012)

USA all 50 states (1973 – 2015)

Zimbabwe (1983 – 1985)

Zimbabwe (1986-87)

 

Technical Papers and Publications

1.    Bisson and Lehr, “Modern Groundwater Exploration”, Book published by J Wiley and Sons, Inc. 2004.

2.    Bisson, “Megawatersheds" entry from Water Encyclopedia: Ground Water Edited by Jay H. Lehr, June 2005.

3.    Bisson and Maharaj, "Revolutionary Groundwater Method Reveals Megawatersheds in Trinidad & Tobago", published in "Water & Wastewater International", October 2004 Vol. 19 Issue 7.

4.    Bisson and Maharaj, “Megawatersheds of the Caribbean: New Water from Old RocksOctober, 2003, Presented at the Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) 12th Annual Conference, Paradise Island, Bahamas September 29 - October 3, 2003.

5.    Bisson, “Megawatershed Paradigm of Groundwater Occurrence” 2003

6.    Bisson, “Megawatersheds of the Caribbean: Results from Trinidad & Tobago's Pioneering Megawatershed Projects Promise Liberation from the Tyranny of Future Droughts and Unaffordable Water Supply Alternatives” August 2002.

7.    Bisson, Hoag, Ingari, Maharaj, and Jadoo, “Megawatersheds Groundwater Assessment and Recharge Calibration on the Island of Tobago, W.I.; A Comparison of Results Using Megawatersheds versus Traditional Methods of Groundwater Assessment” 2001

8.    Maharaj, Bisson and Hoag, “Novel Groundwater Development Technology and Contract Structure Solves Long- Standing Water Shortage Problems on the Island of Tobago, West Indies” 2001.

9.    Verteuil, Stawicki, Hoag, Bisson, Ingari, Maharaj, and Mulchansingh, “Sedimentary Megawatersheds Delineation: The Role of Genetic Sequence Stratigraphy and Complex Fault Systems Analysis in Groundwater Resource Assessment in Trinidad” 2001.

10. Hoag, Bowman, Bisson, Restrepo, Sankar and Maharaj, “Estimation of Groundwater Recharge in Trinidad using Meteorological, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and Watershed Modeling” 2001.

11. Bisson, "Privatization, Water Delivery Economics and Updating the Global Water Balance: A Win-Win Scenario" U.S. Water Report, Saringa Group, Inc. November 1999.

12. Bisson, Roosevelt and Sisk, ”New Groundwater Discoveries as a Mechanism for Regional Conflict Resolution” Proceedings of the Conference on Water Dispute Prevention & Development , Center for the Global South, American University, Washington DC, October 1998.

13. Bisson, Sheffield and Sisk, 1995, "Megawatershed Exploration: A State-of-the-Art Technique Integrating Water Resources) and Environmental Management Technologies", proceedings of the IDA World Congress on Desalination and Water Sciences, Abu Dhabi, UAE. November 18-24, 1995.

14. Bisson, "Space Age Integrated Exploration and Treatment of Renewable Regional Sources of Pristine Groundwater in Fractured Rock Megawatersheds" Desalination, 99, 257-273, Elsivier Science B.V. Amsterdam 257-273, Elsivier Science B.V. Amsterdam 1994.

15. Bisson, “The Megawatersheds Discovery, The Arid World's Water Legacy of Geotectonics". International Symposium on Water Resources in the Middle East: Policy and Institutional Aspects, Beckman Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana October, 1993.

16. Bisson, "Integrated Exploration Techniques Discover Potential for Renewable Regional Sources of Pristine Groundwater in Fractured Bedrock". Proceedings of The Fifth International Symposium on Application of Remote Sensing and GIS Technologies to Water Resources Management, Damascus, Syria, Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 1994.

17. Bisson, “The Megawatersheds Paradigm: Integrated Exploration Techniques Discover The Potential For Renewable Regional Sources Of Pristine Groundwater In Fractured Bedrock” 1994.

18. Bisson and El-Baz, "The Megawatersheds Exploration Model” Proceedings of the 23rd International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment” Bangkok, Thailand, April 1990 (Conf. Proceedings)

19. Bisson and Hofman, "Groundwater - The Paradoxical Economic Mineral" Published in Water and Wastewater Magazine April 1989.

20. Bisson and The Founders Group of Sudan, “New Water and Prosperity in the Red Sea Province”1988

21. Bisson and Long, "Exploration for New Ground Water - Impact of the Space Age in the Third World”1984.

22. Bisson, “20th Century Water Divining” Industrial Development and Agriculture Third World Development Grosvenor Press, London, December 1985.

Megawatersheds Media Articles

Š      GOOD Magazine's "Water Flowing Underground" article (Summer 2009 - Water Issue).

Š      Mother Jones' "The Wizard of h2o" (Bruce Falconer; November - December 2008 issue).

Š      Today’s Africa article "Meet New York Based Groundwater Explorer - EarthWater Global"

Š      (September - October 2008 issue).

Š      McGraw-Hill's Engineering News-Record article, "Shattered-Rock Systems Provide New Water

Š      Resources" (William Angelo; August 6th, 2008).

Š      Geotimes article “Searching For Water In All The Right Places” (Kathryn Hansen; May 2006)

Š      Groundwater Age article “Around The World...Projects To Find Ground Water In Many Parts Of

Š      The World” (Dave Kayser; January 1986).

Š      New England Business Journal article “Space Age Exploration For Water Mixes With Unusual

Š      Business Commitment” (Douglas McDonald; May 1986).

Š      Business NH article “A Laconia Firm Stakes Its Future on Groundwater” (Jim Ross; December 1985).

Š      Yankee article “A Stake In The Ground” (Tim Clark; May 1983)