Further description:- United Kingdom  Monitoring 

Glossary Entry:- United Kingdom  Monitoring
Periodic or continuous surveillance or testing to determine the level of compliance with statutory 
requirements and/or pollutant levels in groundwater.
Overview
We have to monitor groundwater to know how activities of people, past and present, are affecting groundwater. 
This information is required to fulfil statutory duties, to detect resource problems and to identify
pollution in good time. It is the job of the UK's Environmental Agencies to protect public water supplies
and ecosystems. Monitoring is the only way to get this information and is therefore an essential part
of protecting groundwater and its dependent surface ecosystems. Groundwater is relatively inaccessible and has complex relationships with other parts of the
water cycle. This all makes it more difficult and expensive to monitor groundwater than surface water.
It is thus essential that monitoring activity is supported by a good conceptual understanding of
the hydrogeological conditions and of the identified pressures on groundwater.
1. General Approach
Groundwater is monitored to determine how activities of people, past and present, are affecting 
groundwater. This information is required to fulfil statutory duties, to detect resource problems
and to identify pollution. Due to it's inaccessibility, it more difficult and expensive to monitor groundwater than surface
water. It is thus essential that monitoring activity is supported by a good conceptual understanding
of the hydrogeological conditions and of the identified pressures on groundwater. The monitoring
in turn informs the conceptual understanding. This approach enables better decisions to be made on: h the appropriate number and distribution of monitoring points within each groundwater body;
h the frequency of monitoring; h the range of parameters of groundwater quality to monitor. One of the most important factors in these decisions is the variability in groundwater conditions.
There are two main types of groundwater monitoring: h Strategic monitoring Vto gain an understanding of the overall conditions within a groundwater
body. h Defensive monitoring V to assess the impact of specific activities on the local groundwater
environment. It is usually done to determine compliance with regulatory permits, such as discharge
consents, abstraction licences and PPC Permits. The final and key steps in the groundwater monitoring process are data analysis and reporting.
This enables feedback to improve the conceptual understanding of the groundwater body. Monitoring of groundwater quality To comply with the Water Framework Directive, a Strategic Groundwater Quality Monitoring Programme
is required. This strategic network can be used to establish the status of groundwater bodies and
assess overall trends in groundwater quality and to determine how to reverse declining trends in
quality. The defensive monitoring needed to ensure compliance with environmental permits and to monitor
point source pollution such as land contamination is normally separate from the strategic network.
In all cases the assessment of the monitoring results relies on the conceptual model/understanding
of the site or aquifer. Monitoring of groundwater levels Monitoring groundwater levels is essential for the management of groundwater resources. With
a good conceptual model of the aquifer, changes in groundwater level can be related to the balance
between recharge, abstraction, baseflow to surface water, etc. At the Environment Agency for England and Wales there is a three-tier hierarchy to groundwater
level monitoring: h National network: boreholes with data of the highest quality, where monitoring provides the
detailed long-term records which are essential for resource studies of aquifers or groundwater
bodies. h Regional network: boreholes which provide groundwater level data on a regional basis. These
meet most of the demands from people who need information on water levels and monitor and report variations
in the resources available. h Local network: project-orientated, monitoring boreholes. These are for long-term regional
projects over wide areas, and also address more local issues such as the monitoring of individual
abstraction licences or wetlands.
 
2. Policy and Regulation
2.1 Policy
Objectives of groundwater level measurement  
  
Spatial distribution:  Maps of groundwater level. Quantitative data on the hydraulic behaviour 
of aquifers. Identification of areas of recharge and discharge. Trends: Monitoring of recharge, recession and natural groundwater level fluctuations. Monitoring
impact of local and regional groundwater abstraction. Early warning: Information to allow assessments of resources during periods of groundwater stress.
Data for drought action monitoring or flood warning. Baseline for future issues: Provision of data to support groundwater modelling, and for water
resources investigation. Surface water/groundwater interaction: Data to assess the impact of recharge or abstraction
on streamflow. Licensing and operational control: Data to control the monitoring and licensing of groundwater
abstraction on a regional and local scale. Data for the operational control of abstraction/recharge
works. Support to water quality studies: Aquifer protection associated with major developments. Water
quality monitoring and control.
 
2.2 Regulation
Groundwater monitoring is carried as part of:   
1) General statutory duties: monitoring to determine the chemical and quantitative status of 
groundwater bodies under the Water Framework Directive. It also underpins the designation of Nitrate
Vulnerable Zones, under the Nitrates Directive, and assessments of available resources for the
Water Resources Act 1991. 2) Specific statutory requirements: the Groundwater Directive requires the assessment of overall
impact on groundwater of discharges from licensed activities. 3) Monitoring to support national and/or European non-statutory commitments, or environmental
initiatives V such as Eurowaternet (proposals for pan-European reporting of water quality). The overall aims in monitoring groundwater are to meet domestic and European legislative requirements
and to contribute to the protection of groundwater and its uses (including direct abstraction and
surface ecosystems dependent on groundwater).
 
3. Funding
Site Project Funding
not applicable 
 
R&D funding
Soil Protection
Research Type: Applied

Topics: Brownfields Contaminated land, Contaminated land overview Contaminated land, Remediation options, Remediation options overview Groundwater protection, Groundwater protection overview Soil, Soil Overview

Submitted by: Maike Hauschild  Who does what?

Full Details |


Soil Biodiversity Programme
Research Type: Basic

Topics: Brownfields Contaminated land, Contaminated land overview Contaminated land, funding Soil, Soil Overview

Submitted by: Maike Hauschild  Who does what?

Full Details |


URGENT (Urban Regeneration and the Environment)
Research Type: Basic

Topics: Brownfields Contaminated land, Contaminated land overview Contaminated land, funding Groundwater protection, Groundwater protection overview Soil, Soil Overview

Submitted by: Maike Hauschild  Who does what?

Full Details |


'Infrastructure and Environment' programme and 'Engineering' programme
Research Type: Basic

Topics: Engineering, Infrastructure and Environment, Brownfields, Contaminated land, Groundwater protection, Funding, Brownfields Contaminated land, Contaminated land overview Contaminated land, funding Groundwater protection, Groundwater protection overview

Submitted by: Maike Hauschild  Who does what?

Full Details |


Bioremediation LINK Programme
Research Type: Applied, Basic

Topics: (1) To understand and exploit natural attenuation in groundwater and soil (demonstration, modelling, prediction, definition of operating window). (2) To improve engineered in-situ bioremediation, interfacing microbiology with engineering and hydrogeology; dealing with heterogeneity, improved process control and optimisation. (3) To translate the results of laboratory studies into the field (scale-up). (4) To position bioremediation within a risk management framework - bioavailability, risk-based end points and residue behaviour. (5) To develop the ability to monitor in-situ microbial processes. (6) To understand the constraints on in-situ microbial processes. (7) To integrate bioremediation with other technologies. (8) To quantify human health impacts of bioremediation and develop surrogate testing. (9) To address socio-economic issues- perception of bioremediation technologies and decision-support mechanisms.

Submitted by: Professor Paul Bardos  Who does what?

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Land Contamination
Research Type: Applied

Topics: site assessment for land contamination, decision support tools for risk management, remediation of contaminated soils, sediments, and groundwater, Brownfields Contaminated land, Contaminated land overview Contaminated land, funding Groundwater protection, Groundwater protection overview

Submitted by: Maike Hauschild  Who does what?

Full Details |


Defra Web Page on: Contaminated Land - funding
Research Type: Demonstration

Topics: There are several measures which support the clean up of contaminated land, and these are described on this web page

Submitted by: Professor Paul Bardos  Who does what?

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Market Information
not applicable 
 
4: Management tools / decision support and guidance

No further information available

5. Authors


 
    
6. Acknowledgements