2. Brighton Chalk Integrated Catchment Management Partnership (Brighton ChaMP)

Theme: Groundwater

Objectives:

  • 13. More sustainable urban and rural land management will significantly reduce pollutants reaching groundwater such that diffuse pollution does not contribute to further deterioration of groundwater quality.
  • 15. Raise awareness of the water environment through active engagement of landowners, local communities, volunteers and other interested parties.

Project description

Improving land management practices to protect and improve the quality of groundwater in the aquifer, to ensure it remains a sustainable water resource for public water supply.  

The Brighton Chalk provides public water supplies for Brighton and Hove and beyond, to some 365,000 people, as well as baseflow to rivers and the marine environment.  Its status is at risk from rising nitrate levels, as well as risks associated with pesticides, turbidity, oils and solvents in both urban and rural areas.

This is the only chalk aquifer in the South Downs National Park that does not already benefit from an initiative to address the risks to water quality.  Water quality issues are currently managed by Southern Water using nitrate removal plants.  This is not economically or environmentally sustainable in the longer term, as it does not include reduction of pollution at source.

A collaboration of organisations and land managers is required to identify and implement cost-effective and proportionate solutions to pollution removal, reduction and prevention.  The long-term gain is economically huge, as this water resource would cost society in the region of £30-£100 million to replace if not managed sustainably.

The objectives of Brighton ChaMP are to:

  • Provide practical advice and improvements to diffuse and point source pollution inputs to groundwater in rural and urban environments.
  • Raise public and land manager awareness of importance of groundwater for drinking water supply and the environment and the impact that land management practices can have on it.
  • Improve the evidence base and monitor the impacts on groundwater quality of changes to working practices.
WFD status: Poor
WFD overall status objective: Good
Total area covered by project: 258km2
Project lead: South Downs National Park Authority
Project partners: Brighton and Hove City Council, Environment Agency, Natural England, South Downs National Park Authority, Southern Water, University of Brighton, Brighton and Lewes Downs Biosphere
Funding source: EA, SDNPA, Southern Water
Contact for more information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Project start: September 2014
Project end: March 2019

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting. From an original concept by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.