Friday 30 Sep 2016Examples for applying numerical modelling in the science of environmental hydrology and hydrogeology

Dr Lei Wang -

Harrison 170 14:00-15:00


“Develop modelling capabilities to better understand and predict environmental processes within changing conditions” is one of strategies of British Geological Survey, Natural Environment Research Council (BGS, NERC). The talk will briefly introduce some examples of the development and applications of numerical hydrological and hydrogeological models in BGS. More details will then be provided for the nitrate time bomb (NTB) work, which mainly addresses the nitrate lag-time issues in the groundwater system. The NTB model has been used by the Environment Agency at both the policy and local level in managing nitrate water pollution in England and Wales for better implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive and EU Nitrates Directive.




Speaker bio:




Dr Wang’s expertise lies in agricultural diffuse water pollution, hydrological and hydrogeological modelling and environmental real-time modelling. He has successfully won funding worth 2.7m from Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Environment Agency (EA) and Innovate UK (TSB). So far, he has published more than 30 peer-reviewed papers, 3 books and 9 BGS technical reports. He has developed 15 pieces of software that are used nationally and internationally. For example, his SLiM model (a rainfall-recharge-runoff model) has been used for teaching by Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, the University of Nottingham. His GISGroundwater, which is the first seamless GIS-groundwater-flow model in the world, has more than 400 downloads worldwide.


He has been funded from a number of sources including NERC, DEFRA, EA, TSB and Chinese State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin (SKLWAC). For example, the “Nitrate time bomb” (NTB) research led by him has helped policy makers to realise the necessity of considering nitrate time-lag in the groundwater system when making policies on controlling nitrate water pollution. Therefore, his NTB work has great impacts on agricultural diffuse water pollution management in England and Wales with interest from the Ministry of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China. The EA has directly invested in integrating his NTB work into their work of designation of Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs), and began to use NTB model at both the policy and local level in managing nitrate water pollution in England and Wales for better implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) and EU Nitrates Directive (ND). His online real-time modelling system (OneRTM), which provides an innovative way to maintain, link, and disseminate models, has been funded by NERC and Innovate UK (TSB) for its commercialisation by working with private companies (e.g. Thames Water, and Maxeler) and governments.

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