Aquifer designation data

BGS Datasets

Key information

1:50 000
England and Wales
Free / Licensed
GIS polygon data (ESRI, MapInfo, others available by request)

Free: Available to view via the Defra Magic Portal (England) and the BGS GeoIndex (Wales).

Licence: £0.32 per km2 for commericial download use. Subject to number of users, licence fee and data preparation fee. Non-commercial users should contact EA (for England) and NRW (for Wales) for access.

Local-level to Region-level use

The aquifer designation dataset has been created by the Environment Agency (EA), Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and the BGS, and identifies the different aquifers of England and Wales.

Groundwater protection policy in England and Wales uses aquifer designations that are consistent with the Water Framework Directive.

These designations reflect the importance of aquifers not only in terms of groundwater as a resource (drinking water supply) but also their role in supporting surface water flows and wetland ecosystems.

The maps are split into two different types of aquifer designations:

  • superficial: permeable, unconsolidated (loose) deposits, e.g. sands and gravels
  • bedrock: solid, permeable formations, e.g. sandstone, chalk and limestone

The maps display the following aquifer designations:

  • principal aquifers
  • secondary aquifers:
    • secondary A
    • secondary B
    • secondary undifferentiated
  • unproductive strata

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