Groundwater is a global resource of fundamental significance. Seventy-five per cent of the world’s water supply is provided from groundwater. Many of the world’s regions and nations are close to 100% dependant on groundwater for water supply, including most of the world’s mega-cities, and the under-developed rural areas of Asia, Africa and South America. Also, groundwater is the world’s primary source for irrigation, crucial for global food security; and groundwater supports the springs, streams and rivers that underpin many ecologically significant wetland habitats. Hydrogeology is the study of the geological and hydrological processes that control groundwater flow and groundwater quality, and is therefore a primary component of any environmental geoscience programme. Hydrogeological research provides the scientific foundation for managing and protecting the world’s groundwater resources.
We research the combined influences of hydrogeological and geochemical processes on groundwater conditions, especially on the vulnerability of groundwater to contamination and/or depletion. Hence our research concerns groundwater flow, solute transport processes and geochemical reactions, and how these interact to control groundwater level, flux and quality. Within UCL we make use of the facilities of the Department of Earth Sciences, contributing to the Environmental Geochemistry research area and the London Arsenic Group of the Department, to the Water Security theme of the UCL Environment Institute, and to the Natural Hazards theme of the UCL Institute of Risk and Disaster Reduction. Externally, we collaborate with the Groundwater Science discipline of the British Geological Survey, and with academic and regulatory partners overseas, including in Bangladesh, India, Malawi and Zimbabwe.