Aquifer designation data

Aquifer designation dData sample

Aquifer designation data coverage

Scale 1:50 000
Coverage England and Wales
Format GIS polygon data (ESRI, MapInfo, others available by request)

On application


The aquifer designation dataset has been created by the Environment Agency (EA), Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and the BGS, and identifies the different aquifers of England and Wales.

From 1 April 2010, groundwater protection policy in England and Wales uses aquifer designations that are consistent with the Water Framework Directive.

These designations reflect the importance of aquifers not only in terms of groundwater as a resource (drinking water supply) but also their role in supporting surface-water flows and wetland ecosystems.

The maps are split into two different types of aquifer designation.

  • superficial (drift): permeable, unconsolidated (loose) deposits e.g. sands and gravels
  • bedrock: solid, permeable formations e.g. sandstone, chalk and limestone

The maps display the following aquifer designations:

  • principal aquifers
  • secondary aquifers (further subdivided into secondary A, secondary B, and secondary undifferentiated)
  • unproductive strata


  • The data for England is available to view on the MAGIC website.
  • The data for Wales are now available to view on the BGS GeoIndex.


Contact Digital Data for more information.

Hutton field: well correlation diagram.