Wetland and Groundwater Interactions
Phase 1 Report:
Knowledge Base and Outline Framework for Risk Assessment of Groundwater Dependent Terrestrial Ecoystems
(May 2006)

Background to research

This Report presents the results and outcomes of Phase 1 of the SNIFFER WFD 62 project ‘Wetland and Groundwater Interactions’. Additionally, the report makes recommendations for further work to be considered within a second phase of the project. Some of the results presented in this report go beyond the initial targets set by SNIFFER for the first phase of the project and cover tasks which were planned for the second phase. Within the project two panel meetings were convened consisting of Centre for Sustainable Water Management staff, an Expert Group (EG) comprising internationally recognised researchers in the fields of hydrogeology, hydrochemistry and hydroecology, and a cross-disciplinary Steering Group (SG) of hydrogeologists and ecologists from the regulating bodies in England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Objectives of research

The objective of the Phase 1 SNIFFER – WFD 62 Project on Wetland and Groundwater Interactions was to create a body of knowledge to inform the development of a methodology or range of methodologies which allow assessment of whether a site is ecologically damaged, and helps define what constitutes significant damage for each groundwater/wetland interaction category. The deliverable reported here is an outline of a framework that can go forward into Phase 2.

Within Phase 2, the key science aspects of the framework proposed in Phase 1 were to be considered in more detail. This stage of the project has not been funded at the current time owing to the different timescales for implementation of the various funding bodies. Some trialling of the Phase 1 provisional framework is going ahead within the funding bodies. The deliverable of Phase 2 was to be a refined framework that could be implemented by the funding bodies.

Key findings and recommendations

As Phase 1 of the project proceeded it became clear that some of the Phase 2 objectives were also being met, and these are presented in this report. The major outcomes of the work presented in this report are:

Keywords: groundwater, wetland, framework, damage, risk

Copies of this report are available from the Foundation, in electronic format on CDRom at £20.00 + VAT or hard copy at £25.00, less 20% to FWR members.

N.B. The report is available for download from the SNIFFER Website