Hydrogeology of British military sites: Project Aquatrine
Project Aquatrine was the UK Ministry of Defence's Private Finance Initiative project to transfer responsibility for water supply and waste water removal to private companies. Britain was split into three geographical areas, with Package A approximately covering the area to the west of a line between the Mersey and Southampton, Package C covering the rest of England, and Package B covering Scotland. Hydrogeology was a major factor in the models used to produce financial forecasts for Package A, upon which the winning bid was based. Reconnaissance-level understanding of aquifers, water demand and the Environment Agency's view of licensing possibilities were used to produce a list of sites where water resources could be developed to replace the incumbent water suppliers. Several sites have been developed successfully, but a number of possible abstractions have failed to be realized because of hydrogeological (quality, quantity) and other causes. In the operational phase of Aquatrine, hydrogeology was used to understand the data produced by a new network of telemetred groundwater level loggers, to constrain the location of new sewage treatment works and to apply for appropriate abstraction licences when Crown Immunity under the Water Resources Act 1991 is finally lost.