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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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