Water Resources Management

, Volume 21, Issue 12, pp 2015–2025 | Cite as

Groundwater-Dependent Wetlands in the UK and Ireland: Controls, Functioning and Assessing the Likelihood of Damage from Human Activities

  • Stefan Krause
  • A. Louise Heathwaite
  • Felicity Miller
  • Paul Hulme
  • Andrew Crowe
Article

Abstract

Under the Water Framework Directive (WFD) the requirement for ‘good groundwater status’ is dependent upon there being no ‘significant damage’ to groundwater-dependent terrestrial ecosystems, i.e. groundwater-dependent wetlands. An ecohydrogeological framework was developed to assess the risk of significant damage for groundwater-dependent terrestrial ecosystems in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The framework will be used by the competent authorities implementing the WFD as a decision support system to apply the WFD guidelines on a local to regional basis. The framework considers the variety of groundwater controls and pathways of different wetland types and allows a specific assessment to be made of the vulnerability of different wetland types to groundwater related risks. Seven distinct wetland types were identified and the potential pressures were evaluated. A GIS framework was developed in order to analyse the spatial coincidence of potential risks to each wetland type. The framework was tested for a trial dataset of 10 groundwater controlled wetland ecosystems in England and Wales in order to evaluate their current risk of damage.

Keywords

Wetlands Groundwater Risk Vulnerability Eco-hydrology Water framework directive 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Krause
    • 1
  • A. Louise Heathwaite
    • 1
  • Felicity Miller
    • 2
  • Paul Hulme
    • 2
  • Andrew Crowe
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Sustainable Water Management, Lancaster Environment CentreLancaster UniversityLancasterUK
  2. 2.Environmental Agency, Eco-systems ScienceOlton, SolihullUK

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