Wetlands and other water-dependent ecosystems are widely recognized as being of vital importance to maintaining biodiversity, and many are now protected by legislation. However, impacts on wetlands are notoriously difficult to assess because they are often complex, poorly understood hydroecological systems. Some wetlands have exacting water level and quality requirements.
Assessment of anthropogenic impacts on wetlands requires a multidisciplinary approach, involving knowledge of groundwater, surface water, and hydroecology. Schlumberger Water Services (SWS) can provide the broad range of expertise required and has built up a strong track record in work on wetlands and hydroecology. It is important that investigations be tailored to identifying and investigating the most important issues, as budgets for this type of work are often limited.
Wetland assessment under Habitats Directive Location - UK Client - Environment Agency and Cheshire County Council Description - Under the EC Habitats Directive, appropriate assessments were carried out of the hydrological impact of activities authorized by Cheshire County Council Mineral Planning Department on Oakmere and Abbotts Moss Special Areas of Conservation. Building on previous work completed for the Environment Agency in the same area, SWS developed a conceptual model of the hydrological influence of surface water bodies formed by aggregate extraction operations. A numerical representation of the groundwater system was used to confirm the conceptual understanding and to quantify any possible impacts.
Hydrogeological survey of Pen-yr-Estyn Moss Location - UK Client - Shropshire Wildlife Trust Description - Pen-yr-Estyn Moss is a 43-ha site in Shropshire, formerly under grazing and arable cultivation. A dense network of drains was installed on the site in the 1970s to enable farming and pump-draining. The Shropshire Wildlife Trust, in conjunction with the owner and tenants, intended to return the site to wetland. SWS was commissioned to undertake a leveling and hydrogeological survey of the site that would form the basis of an application for a grant under the Countryside Stewardship plan. The aim was to create a biodiverse wetland ecosystem through the creation of certain water features and habitats.
Vulnerability of wetland SSSIs Location - UK Client - Environment Agency, Midlands Region Description - Hydrogeological assessments were undertaken of about 180 wetland sites of special scientific interest widely spread around the Midlands Region, to determine their vulnerability to groundwater abstraction. The assessments were based on data sources like geological maps, borehole logs, published reports, precipitation data, licensed and actual abstraction rates, groundwater hydrographs, and observations made during walkover surveys of each site. Each site was then placed in a risk category and the need for additional monitoring was assessed. Standard reports were produced that now form a reference resource for Environment Agency staff.