The last quarter of the 20th century has seen the most rapid development of hydrogeology in terms of both the depth of understanding of hydrogeological processes and of the hydrogeology of Britain, with an associated rapid growth in the number of people employed as professional hydrogeologists in the UK. The four main influences that brought about these developments are changes in the structure of the UK water industry and environmental regulators, particularly in England and Wales; influences of EC directives on UK environmental regulation; a growing public awareness of environmental issues and the pressure they applied on successive governments; and developments in computing power, software development and electronic instrumentation. The paper examines the fields in which hydrogeologists have worked during the last three decades and concludes that it has been the richest period for hydrogeological achievement in the history of the science.
Figures & Tables
The collection of papers in this volume records the development of hydrogeology in Britain over the last 200 years. Following the application, by William smith, of stratigraphic principles to the sinking of wells, Victorian engineers and scientists established groundwater as a major contributor to public water supplies. In the twentieth century, the development of groundwater continued rapidly, controlled by an ever-changing regulatory regime. The 25 papers in this volume review the progrss which has been made, and the lives and work of some of those who were intimately involved.