Perspectives on Protection of Deep Groundwater

Buss, Stephen and Herbert, Alan and Rivett, Mike and Rukin, Nick (2020) Perspectives on Protection of Deep Groundwater. Environment Agency, Shrewsbury.

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Most of the groundwater that supports rivers and abstractions in England derive from aquifers lying no more than 400 m below the surface. However, deeper groundwater, including springs that have their sources at depth, may also have value as a resource (for example, the hot springs at Bath) and potentially could be abstracted for other purposes. It is important to develop a better understanding of these waters and the volumes available so that they can be protected, where necessary, from activities that take place at depth such as the exploitation of onshore oil and gas. This project looked at deep subsurface activities and whether we need constraints in order to protect deep groundwaters. These constraints would depend on the value of the groundwater and the risks posed by the activities.