Understanding the Environment Agency Water Report

  • Drinking water
  • Groundwater
21 Jul 2023

Today, let’s dive deep into the underground world of the Brighton Chalk Aquifer, a true gem in our South Downs region, and see how it held up against June’s unusual weather patterns. The Environment Agency just released its water situation report for June, which gives us an idea of how water resources fare across the country.

We’ll be focusing on Brighton Chalk Block Aquifer, which provides water for over 400,000 people across Brighton, Hove, and Lewes.

If you’re new to the term ‘aquifer,’ let’s quickly unravel the mystery. Picture a giant, natural, underground sponge made of rock, in this case, chalk. This sponge, or aquifer, stores precious water over time, coming slowly from rain seeping into the ground, ready to supply our needs when called upon.

The Brighton Chalk Aquifer is our very own underground treasure, providing vital water resources to our community. But you might wonder, how does an aquifer deal with changes in weather?

June threw a bit of a curveball, with rainfall only reaching 54% of our Long Time Average (LTA). That means we received less rain than usual. Still, against these odds, the aquifer showcased its incredible resilience.

How so, you ask?

Even though the surface was quite dry due to the lack of rainfall, our aquifer did not go thirsty. In fact, groundwater levels at areas like Beeding Hill, part of our chalk aquifer, were reported as notably high. This resilience means that our aquifer still maintains a healthy reserve despite drier periods, securing our access to water resources.

Now, why should we care about our aquifer? Understanding the aquifer is like discovering an invisible lifeline that runs deep under our feet. It’s part of our home, part of our ecosystem, and part of us.

As stewards of our environment, we are called upon to learn, appreciate, and protect our natural resources. The weather will continue to ebb and flow, but the resilience of the aquifer is a reminder of the strength and adaptability of nature – and the need to nurture these resources in return.

We can do this so in so many ways, simply spreading awareness about the aquifer we all rely on, to creating a rain planter, to getting involved with our Friends of Wild Park Rainscape group!

Let’s explore, learn, and protect together. Our aquifer has many more secrets to share, and we’ll be here to uncover them.


This website is built to run on modern browsers.

Unfortunately you are unable to access our site due to visiting on an older, unsupported browser. To access all information regarding The Aquifer Partnership please download a modern browser like Chrome, Firefox or Edge below.

Alternatively you can email Aimee.Felus@southdowns.gov.uk or visit South Downs National Park – TAP for more information on The Aquifer Partnership