Finding groundwater resources for The University of Edinburgh, UK
Located near Penicuik, UK, and eight miles to the south of Edinburgh city centre, The University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush campus forms part of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and is seven years into a 20-year development plan to improve its facilities, particularly the access to local groundwater resources. As part of this, RSK was commissioned to complete a groundwater resource study.
The campus incorporates The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and The Roslin Institute, which, together with other partners and stakeholders, form Europe’s largest concentration of animal science related expertise anywhere in Europe. Close to the Pentland Hills Regional Park and several farms, the campus is inundated with agricultural run-off, specifically, animal waste, nitrates and other fertiliser products. This is an issue, as the site needs water for both human and animal consumption. To address this problem and other issues, the university created a 20-year development plan to improve its facilities, particularly its access to local groundwater resources.
The groundwater resource study aimed to investigate the potential for local groundwater resources to provide a sustainable future water supply to the campus.
Owing to the large scale of the work, we deployed a regional team that divided the work into field- and desk-based studies. Our desk studies estimated the potential water yield and consumption for the campus and outlined the campus’s geology and hydrogeology. Using this information, we developed a conceptual hydrogeological model. We also reviewed the borehole records and developed detailed geological cross sections. Then, we assessed and prioritised borehole sites. Lastly, we created detailed subsurface mapping from the available geological data.
RSK recommended several borehole options at two locations, including differing choices for human and animal water-consumption requirements. We also provided estimated costs for drilling and installing the water wells coupled with good-practice recommendations for installing water wells and headworks.