Arup’s hydrogeologists analyse, control and protect groundwater. These skills help us create better solutions for water catchments, water supply and water flow during underground construction.
But we don’t consider groundwater in isolation. We bring insight to the entire water cycle by drawing together cross-sector experience in water and skills in engineering hydrogeology, hydrogeochemistry, groundwater modelling, water engineering and environmental consulting.
In construction, Arup’s hydrogeology skills are respected across sectors including commercial property, highways, rail and energy. We work with the regulators, local authorities and water utilities that jointly manage water catchments, such as Yorkshire Water, the Polish Ministry of Water and the UK Environment Agency, and end users including the global firm Diageo.
Rethinking water management
Our holistic view of water helps us address the concerns of communities and industries around the world, which face the threats of water scarcity and water stress. We respond by innovating in areas such as integrated catchment management and aquifer storage to help ensure sustainable water resources.
In Australia’s arid ‘red centre’, re-using wastewater helps preserve precious groundwater. We designed the Alice Springs Wastewater Reuse Project to help the state government’s water utility recover and treat water from existing wastewater stabilisation ponds. The cleaned water was to be held in an aquifer – natural underground water storage – before being recovered to irrigate crops.
Ensuring sustainable water supply
Our understanding of each stage in the water cycle helps clients secure safe, reliable sources of water for homes and businesses, while minimising impact on the environment. Our integrated skills all come into play when we assist clients to plan, design and deliver water infrastructure projects.
Portsmouth Water asked Arup to guide early-stage planning for Havant Thicket Winter Storage Reservoir, a project designed to meet growing customer demand for water. Public water supply from natural springs near Havant Thicket drops in summer. However, winter’s higher rainfall swells the spring’s yield so that it is far greater than public demand. Excess water currently flows to the sea but Portsmouth Water plans to divert a portion of that surplus into its new Reservoir. By involving hydrogeologists from the start, Arup ensured that Portsmouth Water’s plan work sensitively with the local water cycle and woodland habitat.
Controlling water in construction
Arup’s hydrogeologists, tunnellers and geotechnics experts bring together formidable experience in managing highly variable and challenging ground and groundwater conditions in construction. They ensure safe, timely delivery of durable buildings and infrastructure, while minimising environmental impact.
Alterations to Admiralty Station, in preparation for Hong Kong’s Island Line extension, were particularly complex. The project involved a new station 20m underground, supporting two tower blocks above, on a congested urban site. We assessed and managed difficult groundwater conditions to shape a design solution that would withstand ongoing water loads and minimise risk and disruption during construction.