Scientists from the Natural Environment Research Council have been tracking how rainwater moves through the layers of soil and rock in lowland catchment areas (drainage basins) to end up in rivers and groundwater - a major source of the UK’s drinking water. Through this Lowland Catchment Research (LOCAR) Programme the scientists are now able to predict the rate at which rainwater flows through the ground and have also found that, as it moves through the soil, the water becomes contaminated with agricultural chemicals.
Some of the polluted water finds a rapid route to the river through cracks in the ground. But around 70% of the water soaks slowly through permeable layers of soil and rock - such as the chalky downs of southern England - taking many years to reach the water table below, but still carrying its cocktail of nutrients.
Professor Howard Wheater, one of the LOCAR research team, said, “As the use of agricultural chemicals has increased, the amount of chemicals in the chalk has built up - creating a time bomb of pollution just waiting to find its way into our drinking water. We have fed our findings into a model that predicts when this pollution will reach the rivers, helping catchment managers to draw up a timetable for taking remedial action.”
This is just one of the results being presented at the LOCAR ‘Go with the Flow’ conference in London, at which the new findings from the programme will be outlined to users such as policy makers and water companies.
Marion O'Sullivan | alfa
Despite government claims, orangutan populations have not increased. Call for better monitoring
06.11.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Increasing frequency of ocean storms could alter kelp forest ecosystems
30.10.2018 | University of Virginia
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
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Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
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