The role of numerical modelling in understanding groundwater flow in Scottish alluvial aquifers
Published:January 01, 2012
M. M. Mansour, A. G. Hughes, N. S. Robins, D. Ball, C. Okoronkwo, 2012. "The role of numerical modelling in understanding groundwater flow in Scottish alluvial aquifers", 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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Groundwater in Scotland has been, until recently, an under-rated resource given the abundance of surface water resources. In the last decade, a number of new abstractions have been developed and existing ones enhanced. Implementing groundwater abstraction licensing through the Scottish Water Environment (Controlled Activities) Regulations (2005) has accelerated the need to understand such schemes. Simulating the groundwater systems, which are generally small in area, with an immature understanding and where subsurface data are often sparse, is a challenge. This challenge is amplified when groundwater abstraction is proposed from previously unexploited gravel valley deposits in close proximity to large rivers. Examples of recent work undertaken for Scottish Water illustrate the important role that groundwater models have in testing and refining conceptual understanding as well as convincing regulators of the suitability of the groundwater abstraction.
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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.