Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

British attempts to develop groundwater and water supply on Gibraltar 1800–1985

By
Edward P.F. Rose
Edward P.F. Rose
Department of Geology, Royal Holloway, University of London Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK mather@jjgeology.demon.co.uk
Search for other works by this author on:
John D. Mather
John D. Mather
Department of Geology, Royal Holloway, University of London Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK mather@jjgeology.demon.co.uk
Search for other works by this author on:
Manuel Perez
Manuel Perez
AquaGib Limited Suite 10b, Leanse Place, 50 Town Range, Gibraltar mperez@lyonnaise.gi
Search for other works by this author on:
Published:
January 01, 2004

Abstract

The 6 km2 peninsula of Gibraltar is unusual hydrogeologically as, in effect, a small but high limestone island, subject to a Mediterranean climate of cool wet winters and warm dry summers. Provision of an adequate water supply for its town and garrison has been a continuing problem, particularly as the population has grown from about 3000 in the 18th century to over 30 000 by the end of the 20th. The narrow peninsula is dominated by the Rock, a mass of Lower Jurassic dolomite and limestone whose main ridge has peaks over 400 m high. Early supplies of potable water were from roof and slope rainwater runoff, and from shallow wells in the Quaternary sands that cover ‘shales’ flanking the Rock at low levels. Intermittent hydrogeological studies through the 19th and 20th centuries, notably in association with the British Geological Survey in 1876, 1943–1952, and 1974–1985 attempted to develop inferred groundwater resources within the sandy isthmus which links the Rock to southern Spain and in the Rock itself. Problems resulted from inadequate understanding of the geology, of recharge, of the behaviour of aquifers containing saline water at depth and of the need to protect aquifers from pollution. Failure to extract adequate groundwater led to development of a separate supply of saline sanitary water to reduce demand for potable water and innovative attempts to improve slope catchment of rainwater, before near-total commitment to desalination for potable supplies in 1993.

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables

Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

200 Years of British Hydrogeology

J. D. Mather
J. D. Mather
University of London, UK
Search for other works by this author on:
Geological Society of London
Volume
225
ISBN electronic:
9781862394735
Publication date:
January 01, 2004

GeoRef

References

Related

Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal