The 2020 Henry Darcy Medal is awarded to Xavier Sánchez-Vila in recognition of his innovative theoretical work and practical solutions regarding aquifer characterisation, subsurface solute transport processes and managed aquifer recharge.
Xavier Sanchez-Vila is a leader and a reference in the field of quantitative groundwater hydrology. He has not only made lasting contributions to the fundamental problems of groundwater hydrology, but has also managed to apply these findings to everyday water engineering problems, often changing the way these problems are faced in real life. Sanchez-Vila has enriched and pushed our ability to characterise physical processes in complex porous systems beyond previous boundaries. The groundbreaking nature of his research and the combination of its depth, breadth and interdisciplinarity constitute important steps forward for science and society.