Soil Surveys, Environmental Assessment & Land Management

Soil and Water Management

Soils are the interface between the land and water. What happens in the soil (the upper metre of the ground) is crucial to managing issues such as surface water flooding, aquifer recharge, erosion, sedimentation, and water quality, all currently major issues in the built and natural environments.

Activities including agricultural intensification, built development and mineral extraction can result in a change in soil physical properties that alter a soil’s ability to accept, store and transmit water towards aquifers or surface water bodies.


Pollutants such as nitrates, phosphates, pesticides and industrial contaminants can easily migrate to aquifers and sensitive aquatic ecosystems via leaching or surface runoff depending on soil type. Where soils are in contact with shallow groundwater, lowering of water-table levels can reduce the amount of moisture accessible by roots, thereby reducing the yield of agricultural crops and negatively affecting wetland habitats.

Land Research Associates has lengthy experience in soil physics and hydrology including:

  • Field monitoring of groundwater levels and pollutant leaching through soils
  • Field and laboratory measurement of key indicators of soil physical quality such as bulk density, coarse porosity and soil hydraulic conductivity
  • Field monitoring of soil moisture content and potential
  • Assessment of the impact of groundwater lowering on agriculture and natural habitats
  • Derivation of HOST (Hydrology of Soil Types) classes from soil characteristics

If you require further information on any aspects of soil and water interaction or need HOST classes to input into the design of sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) please contact Mike Palmer on +44 (0)1509 670570 or by email (