Groundwater research

BGS Research

We provide long-term, groundwater-related capability in the hydrosciences for the benefit of the UK and internationally. Our research addresses issues related to:

  • the sustainability of water resources and quality
  • the effects of environmental change on the water cycle
  • natural hazards in the context of groundwater
  • groundwater and human health

We undertake groundwater-related monitoring and surveys and have extensive data and information, much of which is accessible through the dedicated BGS Groundwater website.

With our partners, we undertake integrated catchment studies through the development of field sites and novel monitoring technologies, the development of groundwater models and the provision of supporting services and analytical facilities.

Find out more about our research


Groundwater resources

Groundwater provides invaluable freshwater for public and private supply, agriculture, industry and recreation across the UK and globally.

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Groundwater quality

The quality of groundwater determines its value as a resource and its impact on surface water ecosystems. BGS researches all aspects of groundwater quality.

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Groundwater vulnerabliity in Scotlan

Groundwater protection and vulnerability

Groundwater is vulnerable to contamination from a wide range of human activities including agriculture, urbanisation, waste disposal, past and present industry and from pollution incidents.

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Young boy drinking water from tap, Tanzania. Photo by Chaucharanje, Pexels

Groundwater and health

We work on groundwater and health in the UK and internationally with a wide range of partners including government departments and international aid agencies.

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arsenic map

International groundwater

BGS has a long history of international groundwater research and developing tools for groundwater management.

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Groundwater data

Data and information are fundamental to scientific progress. At BGS we gather and curate data from our own projects and from partners.

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groundwater flowpaths

Groundwater modelling

Our modelling research focuses on the development and application of models to improve our understanding of hydrological and groundwater processes

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Oxford flooding

Groundwater extremes, climate change and resilience

We are researching groundwater extremes, the impacts of environmental and climate change on groundwater in the UK and internationally, and what this means for building a more resilient future for our water resources.

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Sub-surface heat flow

Groundwater and energy

BGS undertakes research to better understand the potential for using groundwater as a renewable geothermal energy source.

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Groundwater Resources in the UK

Maps of groundwater resources for public supply in the UK show the regional variation in reliance on groundwater supplies. Water companies have estimated how climate change and sustainability reductions will affect these supplies by 2045.

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