South East Section

South East Section
Geohydrological issues in South East England,
current studies and future outcomes
Thursday 21st January 2010 @ 18:30 hrs
The Institution of Civil Engineers,
One Great George Street, London
(Nearest tube: Westminster)
The southeast region has the highest per capita water usage in Britain and the highest forecasted
rate of increase in demand. However it has the lowest rainfall and the least available water
resources to meet the needs for not only public water supply but also for the water dependent
environment. More than any other region in Britain, it relies upon groundwater to meet its water
demand and therefore an understanding of the geohydrological processes, controls and influences
is particularly important to obtain a robust management of the hydrological regime of the region
1) Groundwater occurrence
Rory Mortimer, Emeritus Professor of Engineering Geology, University of Brighton and
Managing Director of ChalkRock Limited
The principal hydrological characteristics of most of southeast England result from the underlying Chalk
geological formation that is present at the surface of most of the region between Hampshire and Norfolk, with
the exception of the Weald and the London Basin. Recent regional geological mapping and detailed
subsurface investigations have provided a more accurate identification of the water bearing horizons and a
better understanding of the subsurface controls on water movement and of groundwater flooding thereby
providing the basis for subsequent hydrogeological and hydrological assessments.
2) Groundwater assessment and planning
Nigel Hoad, Senior Technical Specialist, Environment Agency (Thames Region)
Regional integrated surface water and groundwater studies and investigations are used extensively by the
Environment Agency to assess both the natural and anthropogenic influences upon the water environment.
The impact of climate change and modern regulation in more complex scenarios requires detailed and
extensive measurements and analysis across a range of disciplines. Consequently there is a need to interact
with several sciences and with different agencies and interest groups to obtain proportionate regulation that is
both flexible and acceptable whilst having regard to a range of possible future scenarios.
3) Groundwater abstraction and risk
Rob Sage, Water Resources Manager, Strategic Planning Dept., Veolia Water Central
There are many challenges facing the water companies. Satisfying the requirements of the different regulators
is complicated and availability of resource is a critical challenge. Although VWC have recently declared a
small surplus of supply over demand, there are significant factors that could change this. Pollution of
groundwater has already impacted on water availability and can take many years to clean up. A further threat
arises from the environmental impacts of abstraction that may affect a significant proportion of our total supply
capability. This poses significant uncertainty on the future availability of water, which in turn will impact on the
cost of water. The impacts of climate change compound these issues and when added to the uncertainties of
both future population and per capita consumption, make future supply demand predictions a challenge.
There is no charge to attend this meeting and both BHS member and non-members are welcome.
Enquiries: Helen Procter, Tel: (01372) 756478
Email: [email protected]