Groundwater Resource Assessment on the Isle of Man


Water supplies across the Isle of Man are largely maintained through a network of reservoirs, fed by rainfall and surface water runoff. In response to recent weather conditions, and with a responsibility for safeguarding long-term water supplies on the island, Manx Utilities were keen to understand the potential availability of possible alternatives to supplement existing surface water supplies such as groundwater.

Our office in Onchan was initially contacted by the client to explore the possibility of undertaking a rapid, high-level review of potential groundwater resource availability on the island.


Led through our existing relationships with Manx Utilities, we were able to undertake a high-level, strategic assessment of groundwater resources with the aim of identifying potential aquifers (water-bearing strata) which could potentially be exploited for groundwater supply.

To do this in as short a timescale as possible our groundwater team used a range of available online and archive sources. This enabled them to assess broad geological conditions across the island including borehole and well drilling records to identify possible water-bearing strata which have historically been used to provide water supply.

Using this approach, it has been possible to identify target aquifer groups which could be investigated for future water supply purposes.


Within a very short timescale, we have been able to highlight potential aquifer units across the island for the client and map out a programme for further investigation. While groundwater usage on the island has historically been low our assessment has highlighted groundwater supply potential limitations and opportunities, which can form the basis of a framework for the future targeted assessment of water resource potential.

Our study has also highlighted the necessary next steps in the assessment of groundwater supply potential should Manx Utilities elect to proceed in the evaluation of alternatives to the existing surface water supplies.

Want to know more?

Email Greg Parkinson, Chartered Senior Engineer, for more information on our work in the Isle of Man or email Mike McDonald, Technical Director, for more information on this project.

You can also find out more on our groundwater web page and can see other projects we’ve completed on the Isle of Man in our knowledge hub.

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