The Netherlands Chapter started in 1972 when IAH counted only just a few Dutch members. The Chapter was established on the initiative of the Hydrologische Kring (Hydrological Circle), a subgroup of the Royal Geological and Mining Society of the Netherlands. The Hydrological Circle was open to scientists belonging to other scientific organisations interested in groundwater, such as agronomists, civil engineers, ecologists, geochemists, geographers or soil scientists.
In the 1970’s the Hydrological Circle had grown to about 250 members and was on its way to become an independent society, the Netherlands Hydrological Society (NHV), which was founded in 1990. At that time however, the IAH Council was aiming at a more direct control of both national committees and groups. Therefore it proved impossible to incorporate the National IAH chapter within the NHV.
Ever since however, a close relationship between the IAH Netherlands Chapter and the NHV is maintained, with IAH-NL having a focus on groundwater and international connections.