BGS Research

Improving the management of groundwater resources across Europe

Under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 ERA-Net cofunding scheme, the BGS is contributing to the action Establishing the European geological surveys research area to deliver a geological service for Europe, or GeoERA.

GeoERA consists of four themes: geoenergy, groundwater, raw materials and an information platform.

GeoERA logo
Information icon

GeoERA logo. © GeoERA.

The groundwater theme aims to provide data, information and decision-support tools for the long-term protection, sustainable management and improvement of groundwater resources across Europe, within the framework of societal challenges and EU policies. The theme is made up of a number of research projects, in which we have a leading role:


HOVER stands for Hydrological processes and Geological settings OVER Europe controlling dissolved geogenic and anthropogenic elements in groundwater of relevance to human health and the status of dependent ecosystems.

The project aims to gain understanding of the controls on groundwater quality across Europe using the combined expertise and data held by member states. We are working on nitrate and pesticide transport in groundwater and the presence of emerging organic compounds in groundwater.

Matthew Ascott leads our contribution to the project.


RESOURCE stands for RESOURCEs of groundwater, harmonised at cross-border and pan-European scale. We are contributing to two work packages.

CHAKA is a review of methods of characterising and classifying karst aquifers, with development and application of a karst classification method to diverse karst aquifers in Europe.

Louise Maurice leads our contribution to the project..

The Pan-EU Groundwater Resources Map will use average depths and thicknesses of aquifers and aquitards to produce a map showing the depth and volume of fresh groundwater (including the position of the fresh-salt water interface) and calculate Europe’s fresh groundwater balance.

Melinda Lewis leads our contribution to the project.


TACTIC stands for Tools for Assessment of ClimaTe change ImpaCt on groundwater and adaptation strategies.

The aim of the project is to enhance the utilisation of data and knowledge acquired by European geological surveys in understanding the effects of climate change on groundwater systems. The project deliverable is a toolbox for assessing these effects and includes collected and processed data, visual information, mathematical tools and methodological protocols and guidelines.

Majdi Mansour leads our contribution to the project.


VOGERA stands for Vulnerability Of shallow Groundwater resources to deep subsurface Energy-Related Activities.

Human activities in the subsurface pose a risk of introducing or releasing pollutants into shallow groundwater resources. The VOGERA project is aimed at improving scientific understanding of the vulnerability of shallow groundwater from deep subsurface, industrial energy-related activities including:

  • geothermal energy production
  • unconventional oil and gas exploitation
  • subsurface storage
  • disposal of waste

The final goal is to develop an approach to evaluating groundwater vulnerability from subsurface activities that can be applied across Europe.

Marco Bianchi leads our contribution to the project.

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