A non-linear groundwater model has been developed as an aid in the management of the Chalk aquifer in the Upper Thames Basin. The area of investigation includes Stage I of the Thames Groundwater Scheme, and the model has been used to assess the performance of the aquifer during the severe drought of 1975-76 when river flow was augmented by pumping groundwater into the river. Results indicate that the main loss of water during this period was caused by stream-bed leakage and evaporation from the riparian zone, but that these losses were relatively small. The aquifer is shown to have considerable potential for further development as a major source of water, provided that use is made of denser networks of production boreholes located in the middle and lower slopes of the valleys in the area of Chalk outcrop.

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