UK Groundwater Forum. From left to right Images Copyright Derek Ball BGS ©NERC 1999, Jude Cobbings BGS ©NERC 2003, Terry Marsh CEH ©1991, Emily Crane BGS ©NERC 2004
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UK Groundwater Forum at the University of Plymouth GeoCareers 2015

UK Groundwater Forum at the University of Plymouth GeoCareers 2015


The UK Groundwater Forum recently attended the annual University of Plymouth GeoCareers fair, now in its 11th year. This highly successful event, endorsed by the SW Regional Group of the Geological Society, is aimed at increasing student awareness of graduate employment opportunities in the Earth and Environmental industries, and is attended by students from Plymouth and Cambourne School of Mines. It is one of a very limited number of specialised GeoCareers fairs held annually in the UK and so always well attended with a vibrant atmosphere. This year was no exception!

It was a great opportunity for the Forum to raise awareness of groundwater and the opportunities to make it a career. We met a wide cross section of 1st to 4th year students studying Geology, Applied Geology and Physical Geography & Geology, as well as members of staff, including star of the TV screen, Prof Iain Stewart. We had one of our groundwater presentations on large screen display, as well as 50 copies of our book, “Groundwater: Our hidden asset”, and DVDs of “How rivers work” to give away. However, highlight of our stand was our video of physical aquifer models on continuous loop, this generated a lot of interest and was really useful to help explain key groundwater points to the students.

How do we judge success? All 50 of our books and all of DVDs were distributed to eager students. That’s a groundwater communications job well done. We’ve also got some new followers on Twitter!


INCEND Interview with the UK Groundwater Forum #Staycurious.


"Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others."

Waste Management, Higher Education and Fracking are just some of the topics discussed in the recent INCEND interview with the Groundwater Forum. INCEND is an organisation that aims to make research accessible and relevant to everyone and to share the knowledge we are passionate about. The recent interview highlights the importance of groundwater and activities of the Forum.

Read the full interview with the UK Groundwater Forum here:


Environment Secretary hosts Drought Summit


Exceptionally low rainfall across southern and eastern parts of the UK in the preceding 24 months has culminated in Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for the Environment, announcing that the region is in drought status. After three winter recharge seasons with below average replenishment groundwater levels are amongst the lowest on record, especially so in the south and east of England where there is greatest reliance on groundwater resources for public water supply.

Recognising the seriousness of the situation Caroline Spelman hosted a drought summit, attended by water companies, farmers and wildlife organisations, to agree ‘preventative measures’ to reduce the impact of the drought. Adjustments to agricultural procedures, better connectivity between water companies and the issuing of drought permits were discussed at the meeting.

The UK Groundwater Forum, in partnership with the NERC Water Security Knowledge Exchange Programme (WSKEP) is holding its annual conference on drought issues and will be followed by a WSKEP workshop on ‘Improving drought prediction, communication and impact assessment’. The conference and workshop will be held on 13-14th June at British Geological Survey, conference centre, Nottinghamshire. Registration for these events will open shortly - visit our web page ( for more information.

Read our article about groundwater drought in the UK

Do your bit and help save water

the latest hydrological summary for the UK


National standards for sustainable drainage systems


The draft National Standards for sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) are now available for consultation from the DEFRA website. The standards state how surface runoff should be managed in accordance with Schedule 3 of the Floods and Water Management Act 2010. It documents the standards to which SuDS must be designed and constructed in order to obtain approval from the Unitary Authority (SuDS approval body), who will adopt, operate and maintain the system. Of particular interest to groundwater, is the hierarchy for surface water discharge, which states that the priority destination for runoff is discharge to the ground. Soakaways, infiltration basins and permeable pavements will therefore be the priority mechanism for surface water discharge for new developments. Exceptions apply, for example, where site conditions are such that there is insufficient infiltration capacity, potential for groundwater flooding, or an unacceptable risk of ground instability, or a risk of pollution mobilisation to groundwater.

To view the consultation document visit

For more information about SuDS visit


Rising nitrate levels in the River Thames


Long-term water quality records highlight rising trends in nitrate concentrations in the River Thames. The data, which goes back 140 years, has been compiled as part of a project led by Bristol University to look at the effect of land use changes on water quality in the river. Changes to farming practices, such as the ‘Dig for victory’ campaign in 1939 and the Common Agricultural Policies of the 1960s-70s have contributed to the problem. Since much of the nitrate percolates into the ground and enters the groundwater system there is a delay of 30 years or more before the nitrate arrives in the river, say researchers at Bristol University. The project, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, also indicates that nitrogen is accumulating within the Thames basin.

To read the full article please visit the BBC web site here

To learn more about nitrate pollution in groundwater visit the British Geological Survey’s web site here

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