Research and analysis

Updated groundwater vulnerability maps: improvements to methodology and data

The Environment Agency are updating their groundwater vulnerability maps to reflect improvements in data mapping and understanding of the factors affecting vulnerability.

Documents

Groundwater vulnerability maps: summary and user guide

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New groundwater vulnerability mapping methodology: report

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Details

The Environment Agency have released their new groundwater vulnerability maps for England. These maps reflect improvements in data mapping and understanding of the factors affecting vulnerability and will replace the old maps for groundwater protection purposes.

Documents:

  • New groundwater vulnerability mapping methodology for England and Wales
  • Groundwater vulnerability maps: summary

The ‘New groundwater vulnerability mapping methodology’ report provides technical information about how the new maps have been created. The summary outlines the kinds of activities the new maps can be used for.

These maps provide key evidence for the Environment Agency’s assessment of the exposure of groundwater to a pollution hazard from a given activity as part of its permitting activity work. They form part of a suite of tools developed by the Environment Agency for groundwater protection, including source protection zones and position statements. Further information can be found in the Environment Agency’s Groundwater protection guides.

The new groundwater vulnerability maps for England can be viewed on the Environment Agency’s ‘What’s in your back yard?’ service and will also be made available on Natural England’s MAGiC service in future. Download versions are available for non-commercial, research or academic use from Environment Agency via Data.Gov.UK. The maps include third party data from the British Geological Survey, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and National Soil Research Institute. The British Geological Survey will handle all requests for commercial use. Please contact them directly at digitaldata@bgs.ac.uk.

The new groundwater vulnerability maps for Wales have been developed using the same method. Natural Resources Wales will make an announcement when the maps are publically available for Wales.

Published 28 May 2014
Last updated 9 October 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated report and summary
  2. First published.