Start, development and status of the regulator-led national groundwater resources modelling programme in England and Wales
Published:January 01, 2012
M. I. Whiteman, K. J. Seymour, J. J. Van Wonderen, C. H. Maginness, P. J. Hulme, M. W. Grout, R. P. Farrell, 2012. "Start, development and status of the regulator-led national groundwater resources modelling programme in England and Wales", Groundwater Resources Modelling: A Case Study from the UK, M. G. Shepley, M. I. Whiteman, P. J. Hulme, M. W. Grout
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Over the last 10 years there has been a unique regulator-led programme involving extensive development of regional groundwater models across England and Wales for water resources purposes by the Environment Agency for England and Wales. Eight regionally managed programmes are underpinned by a framework, which has allowed a coordinated national approach. The main uses of the models are for catchment abstraction management and licensing. Models have also assisted in monitoring network design, investigating groundwater quality and implementing groundwater source protection zones. A five-yearly review of the programmes recognized the importance of benefit realization and stakeholder involvement as well as technical good practice. The programme already delivered provides a solid foundation for supporting the management decisions required in areas such as climate change mitigation and integrated catchment management using appropriate tools at a time of rapid organization change and financial uncertainty.
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Groundwater Resources Modelling: A Case Study from the UK
The UK is a country with over 150 years of widespread exploitation of its principal aquifers for public water supply. Increasing demands, greater awareness of environmental pressures and more exacting legislation has heightened the need for quantitative models to predict the impacts of groundwater use. In the UK this has culminated in a unique national, regulator-led programme for England and Wales to develop conceptual and numerical models of the principal bedrock aquifers.
The outcomes of this programme will be of interest to the international hydrogeological community, particularly as international legislation such as the European Water Framework Directive requires management of water issues across administrative boundaries with a varied cast of stakeholders.
The collection of papers provides a contrast between practitioner- and research-based approaches to assess and predict the anthropogenic impacts and environmental pressures. Many insights are provided on how the regular use of groundwater models may address the environmental challenges of the future.