Specialists and researchers

Groundwater is a vital resource for a third of people in England. With added pressures on our water supply from climate change and an increasing population, there is more focus on sustainable water management for the future. Be part of it.

Science & research

The work of TAP is informed by sound science and robust research, and we want to contribute to the wider body of knowledge too.

Evidence & data

We gather evidence and data to increase knowledge and understanding, so we can address the causes of groundwater pollution and develop innovative solutions together.

We welcome academic sector and industry collaborations

The primary concern for the project is groundwater protection, and we are keen to quantify and promote additional benefits to improve soil structure, provide erosion and flood protection, regulate air quality and climate, secure food provision, improve the urban landscape and increase biodiversity.

We regularly update our list of research collaboration opportunities. We’ve summarised the three key areas of research opportunities and discussion points for potential candidates in the the supporting accordions. You can view the full document in the ‘resourceful materials’ section below.

  1. Peer review and evaluation of Cover Crop trials undertaken (nationwide/international) and provide conclusions on the results.
  2. Explore current options for off-mains sewage storage and treatment, their implications for groundwater and suggestions of best practice.
  3. Analysis of the impact of manure piles on nitrate leaching to the aquifer in particular within safeguard zones
  4. Nutrient management: consideration of residual nitrogen in organic manures over time
  5. The impact of the 1980’s Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA) scheme on groundwater nitrate concentrations in the Brighton Chalk block
  6. Opportunity mapping for arable conversion to grassland/woodland/biomass cropping to protect groundwater
  7. Effectiveness of rural landowner engagement methods and barriers to engagement/ uptake of interventions
  8. Investigation of nitrate leaching in under-sowing/companion cropping trial
  9. Mapping of drainage ditches and assessment of impact of water movement pathways on groundwater vulnerability
  10. A comparison study of nitrate leaching associated with a winter cash crop such as winter wheat, a cover crop, a cover crop used for forage and permanent grassland
  1. An investigation of nitrates in groundwater from NOx deposition originating from traffic emissions
  2. Establish risk to aquifer and promote best practice in equine facilities site management.
  3. Evaluate the potential to offset carbon by investing in soil health (with soil as a key natural capital asset)
  4. Study into the flood risk attenuation potential of street tree planting, including considerations of groundwater protection, taking account of whole life costing and natural flood management and other benefits (climate resilience)
  5. Monitoring remediation of road run-off pollutants in rain gardens and rainscapes using multi-level samplers
  6. Analysis of bacterial action for pollutant remediation in Sustainable Drainage Systems
  7. Storage of traffic-derived contaminants in solid phase in the unsaturated zone
  8. Investigation into direct input of traffic derived contaminants traceable from the road drainage network to groundwater
  9. Investigation into potential reaction mechanisms operating that act to reduce PAH and metal (Zn) concentration in the aquifer
  10. Current input is dominated by rapid bypass flow during winter season/intense rainfall events – investigation into build-up of traffic derived contaminants in chalk matrix blocks that has yet to reach the water table
  11. Development of best practice pollution prevention in the Wider Urban Area (EIA, environmental audit, industrial sites and premises, construction sites)
  12. Overcoming barriers to implementing Sustainable Urban Drainage schemes in new developments, retrofitting and road upgrade schemes
  1. Review of worldwide best practice for groundwater protection in chalk aquifers comparable to Brighton chalk block
  2. BGS/university collaboration – new geomorphological/hydrological mapping of the Brighton chalk block, tracer testing and integration into conceptual models
  3. Investigating stakeholder awareness of and behaviours associated with the aquifer and its use as a source for water supply

Resourceful materials

Let's discuss your research proposal.

We are happy to discuss research collaborations and student placements, particularly at MSc and PhD level. Use the form below to get in touch.

‘The health of our waters is the principal measure of how we live on the land’ – Luna Leopold, US geomorphologist and hydrologist

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