Please enable Javascript to view this site correctly

Hydrogeology

We work in sympathy with water’s complex cycle because we understand how water flows and collects underground.


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, highwaysrail 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.

Search our services

Global contact

Jim Johnson
  • Jim Johnson

    Jim Johnson

    Jim Johnson

    Your best solution to date?

    Doubling our geotechnical practice in Europe – increasing our market and technical skills whilst improving communication.

    Why is it significant?

    My job now is to facilitate communication along the same lines between our 600 staff around the world.

    Your particular skill?

    The mixture of judgement and science needed to engineer the ground, which is usually a "non-standard" material!

    Enthusiasm?

    Stories. I am a huge fan of storytelling and listening in all forms from the novel to narrative dance theatre.

    Why Arup?

    The challenge and stimulation of the teams and individuals I work with – our clients, collaborators and our own people.

    Anything else?

    Group Leader for the multiprofessional Arup office in Leeds.

  • Global Hydrogeology Leader

Explore our work


Bingley Relief Road UK. Credit Paul White Photography

Project: A650 Bingley Relief Road

The first civil engineering project to win the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award.

Read more

City Park, Bradford, Giles Rocholl Photography

Project: City Park, Bradford

Boasts the UK’s largest city centre water feature.

Read more

Image showing a completed One New Change, with shoppers in the fore and St Paul’s Cathedral in the background. Credit, Hufton+Crow.

Project: One New Change

One New Change has transformed the City into a seven day shopping and restaurant destination with a difference.

Read more

Queenscliff marine and freshwater resources institute.

Project: Marine and Freshwater Resources Institute

The building responds to the seasons to create a comfortable internal environment.

Read more

Aerial view of New Songdo City Central Park. Credit Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC.

Project: New Songdo City Central Park and Canal

A 101-acre park and canal for a new South Korean city.

Read more

Be social and share