News & Articles
A quarter of all private water supplies used for commercial purposes and services to the public were not fit for purpose, according to a recent report by the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI). The private supplies which serve just over one million people in England and Wales failed to meet quality standards on a range of determinants in particular over the presence of E. coli and levels of boron and arsenic. It is the first time that private water supplies have been reviewed by the DWI and follows the introduction of new regulations which requires local authorities to under a risk assessment of supplies and monitor water quality.
To read the summary findings of the DWI’s report please visit http://dwi.defra.gov.uk/about/annual-report/2010/index.htm
Read our article about groundwater and pathogens www.groundwateruk.org/Groundwater-issues-pathogens.aspx
A good practice guide for the installation of ground source heating and cooling (GSHC) systems has just been released by the Environment Agency. The guidance which was produced in collaboration with the Ground Source Heat Pump Association offers designers, consultants and installers advice about how to install open-loop and closed-loop GSHC systems without causing harm to the environment. It is estimated that there are approximately 12,000 GSHC systems installed in the UK already but this figure could rise to as much as 300,000 by 2020 as people look to renewable energy in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.
To read the GSHC Good Practice Guide please visit the Environment Agency web site here
After 4 months of drilling Newcastle University’s geothermal borehole is progressing well. The project, led by Professor Paul Younger, involves the drilling of a borehole to a depth of 2000m to capture hot water, at around 70oC, from the sandstone aquifer at depth. The geothermal water will be pumped to the surface where they hope to use it to heat houses in the Newcastle area. In the long-term, if the project is successful it is hoped that up to 10,000 houses may benefit from the low-carbon geothermal energy source.
For more information please visit the BBC web site here
Just a few months after the NERC decision to withdraw funding for taught-Masters training Leeds University has announced the closure of some of their environmental courses. MSc courses in Geochemistry, Environmental Geochemistry and Hydrogeology will no longer run after 2012. Citing the removal of NERC support as a key factor Leeds University have found that these environmental courses are no longer financially viable. A similar situation exists at Cardiff University which has decided to close their MSc in Applied Environmental Geology; the MSc in Environmental Hydrogeology at Cardiff will remain however. Along with Cardiff University there are only 4 other institutions in the UK now offering taught masters in hydrogeology - Birmingham, Sheffield, Newcastle and Strathclyde Universities.
The agricultural industry must anticipate changes to the water cycle due to more climatic extremes say researchers at Reading University. In a report ‘Water for agriculture – implications for future policy and practice’ commissioned by the Royal Agricultural Society of England, researchers explain how water availability and water usage for agriculture are likely to change under climate change scenarios. With higher temperatures, drier summers and wetter winters expected, it is warned that groundwater supplies are likely to become more seasonal and less-reliable during the summer, placing more reliance on the storage of winter rainfall for irrigation later in the year. The report also highlights that winter run-off is likely to increase making shallow groundwater supplies more vulnerable to pollution from the surface.
To read the report ‘Water for agriculture – implications for future policy and practice’ please visit www.rase.org.uk/pdfs/Water_Report-Final.pdf
For research about how our water cycle may change under climate change scenarios please visit
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