Updated groundwater vulnerability maps: improvements to methodology and data

Posted: Monday 30th June 2014

The Environment Agency is updating their groundwater vulnerability maps to reflect improvements in data mapping and understanding of the factors affecting vulnerability.

The Environment Agency is currently updating its groundwater vulnerability maps to reflect improvements in data mapping and understanding of the factors affecting vulnerability. The ‘New groundwater vulnerability mapping methodology’ report provides technical information about how the new maps have been created. The user guide outlines the kinds of activities the new maps can be used for.

These reports have been published in advance of the release of the new maps to give users time to understand the new approach and how this differs from the previous groundwater vulnerability maps. These maps provide key evidence for the Environment Agency’s assessment of the exposure of groundwater to a pollution hazard from a given activity as part of its permitting activity work. They form part of a suite of tools developed by the Environment Agency for groundwater protection, including source protection zones and position statements. Further information on groundwater protection can be found in the Environment Agency’s Groundwater protection: principles and practice (GP3) guidance.

The new maps for England will be released in the Autumn of 2014. They will be freely available for non commercial users from the Environment Agency and will be available for viewing on the Environment Agency’s website. The British Geological Society will provide the data for a fee for commercial users. Further details with links to these sites will be provided on this page when the maps are released.

The new groundwater vulnerability maps for Wales have been developed using the same method. We are currently liaising with Natural Resources Wales about how and when the new Welsh groundwater vulnerability maps will be made available and this page will be updated with information about this as soon as it is available.




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