The Aquifer Partnership

Protecting our aquifer so that we can all have access to clean, safe water in the future.

The Aquifer Partnership is creating Rainscapes – also known as Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) – at Wild Park in Brighton and three primary schools in The Living Coast region. The Wild Park Rainscape is designed as a series of ponds, swales and shallow planted basins to clean surface water from a section of the highway. The schools’ rainscapes provide children with a beautiful play area while reducing flooding, cleaning water and increasing biodiversity.

Find out how the University of Brighton is partnering with TAP to tackle pollution from road drainage

Find out how UNESCO is championing TAP’s Rainscapes

Project objectives

  1. Working with farmers and landowners to trial new approaches that use nitrate efficiently and stop it getting into soils, surface and ground water.
  2. Working in the urban environment to stop surface water pollution from roads and developments impacting our groundwater.
  3. Supporting innovation and research to develop new ways of reducing ground water pollution in rural and urban environments.

What’s been achieved?

  • Research with farmers into using winter cover crops and regenerative farming techniques to support the soil and reduce nitrate leaching.
  • Developed SUDs in school projects in Brighton and Hove and Lewes with rain gardens in the school grounds to improve biodiversity and reduce surface water flooding.
  • Developing plans with Brighton & Hove City Council to install a large rain garden at the Wild Park nature reserve to remove polluted water run-off from the local road network and reduce surface water flooding.
Illustration showing how water enters Brighton aquifer

The water in the aquifer is filtered through the chalk beneath the South Downs. Click to enlarge.

The Aquifer Partnership is working together to ensure a sustainable future for our local groundwater.

The city of Brighton and Hove and surrounding towns and villages all obtain their drinking water from groundwater that is stored in a natural aquifer under the South Downs.

However, this groundwater is at risk of pollution as a side effect of farming and modern lifestyles, and from being over-used due to increasing population pressures.

The Aquifer Partnership is delivered by South Downs National Park, Brighton & Hove City Council, Southern Water and the Environment Agency working with stakeholders from across the rural and urban landscape of the Brighton chalk block.

The project started in 2015 and there are many opportunities for residents and businesses to protect our local groundwater.

The Living Coast by Bike

Facts and information about the aquifer. Click to enlarge. 

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