Our collaborations and partnerships

Sampling sewage in Malta

BGS scientists work on a wide range of multi-disciplinary projects with and for a range of partners and customers:

Government departments

The BGS has worked with a variety of UK government departments on issues related to water security, water resources, quality and human health. The BGS has a track record of working with international governments and funding agencies.

Environmental Regulators

The BGS has a worked extensively with the water regulators in the UK: the Environment Agency in England, Natural Resources Wales and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency. For example we have provided systematic baseline data related to water resource availability and quality to support regulatory activities.


The BGS has provided a wide range of services to UK water industry and worked in collaboration with several water utilities companies. Additionally BGS has worked with a considerable number of consultancies on multi-disciplinary projects and other sectors of the economy. Please contact Sean Burke, Groundwater Directorate Marketing Lead, for more information.

Research projects and collaborations

BGS staff have worked extensively on research projects, often in collaboration with the UK and international universities and academic institutions, including the University of Reading, Imperial College London, the University of Birmingham and Lancaster University. This work has been supported by funding bodies such as:

BGS scientists have particularly close working relationship with researchers in the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), one of the BGS' sister Centre-Survey organisations within the Natural Environment Research Council.

We are involved in a number of research networks, including:

  • EU COST Sub-Urban Action a European network of geological surveys, cities and research partners working together to improve how we manage the ground beneath our cities.
  • Euro-FRIEND Low Flow and Drought Network. We contribute to various meetings and research initiatives on the theme of low flows and droughts, specifically on the groundwater aspects of drought.
  • Natural Hazards Partnership provides information, research and analysis on natural hazards for the development of more effective policies, communications and services for civil contingencies, governments and the responder community across the UK.
  • SECURE: Statistics of Environmental Change, Resources and Ecosystems. We will be working with partners from Lancaster University on statistical analysis of groundwater level extremes. Funded by EPSRC.

Training partnerships

We are supervising a number of PhDs funded through the Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP) and the BGS University Funding Initiative (BUFI). For general enquiries about doctoral training at BGS e-mail bufi@bgs.ac.uk for further information.

NGOs and international development

The BGS has extensive experience working with NGOs, particularly working on issues that affect the developing world. For example, the BGS has worked with OXFAM and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) on issues related to water resource development and availability in sub-Saharan Africa. BGS is involved in a number of projects being funded by the NERC/ESRC/DfID UPGro Programme, e.g. the Africa Groundwater Literature Archive and BRAVE. Please contact Alan MacDonald, International Research Lead, for more information.

Consortium projects

  • BRAVE: Building understanding of climate variability into planning of groundwater supplies from low storage aquifers in Africa. Lead organisation: University of Reading. Part of the Unlocking the potential of groundwater for the poor (UPGro) Programme funded by NERC/ESRC/DFID.
  • Grofutures: Groundwater Futures in Sub-Saharan Africa. Lead organisation: University College London. Part of the Unlocking the potential of groundwater for the poor (UPGro) Programme funded by NERC/ESRC/DFID.
  • Hidden Crisis: unravelling current failures for future success in rural groundwater supply. Lead organisation: BGS. Part of the Unlocking the potential of groundwater for the poor (UPGro) Programme funded by NERC/ESRC/DFID.
  • HyCRISTAL: Integrating Hydro-Climate Science into Policy Decisions for Climate-Resilient Infrastructure and Livelihoods in East Africa. Lead organisation: University of Leeds. Part of the Future Climate for Africa Programme funded by NERC/DFID.
  • Interfrost: an intercomparison project for thermo-hydro coupled heat and water transfers in permafrost regions.
  • SINATRA: Susceptibility of catchments to INTense RAinfall and flooding. Lead organisation: University of Reading. Part of the NERC-funded Flooding From Intense Rainfall (FFIR) Programme.
  • InterFrost project:Intercomparison project for TH (Thermo-Hydro) coupled heat and water transfers in permafrost regions.

UK Groundwater Forum

In the UK, we play an important role in the working of the UK Groundwater Forum, a network of people and institutions interested in groundwater management issues. The Forum includes, among others, government bodies, researchers, water companies and regulators, and aims to encourage discussion and partnership between the various stakeholders to generate relevant new research and disseminate knowledge. We have run the Secretariat of the Forum since its inception in 1995.


Contact Dr Rob Ward for further information.