Believe it or not, you could be hit by a drought this summer
After the Christmas holiday downpours and a drizzly old January it may come as a surprise to learn that the south east of England faces a drought this summer.
Yet the Environment Agency is warning that parts of London and the south east will be hit by water shortages later this year unless it rains significantly more than usual over the next two to three months.
And it has left stocks in many of the reservoirs that supply households well below where they should be.
“Water companies will be advising their customers to use water wisely and considering action to preserve and enhance water supplies,” Stuart Sampson The Environment Agency has warned that unless rainfall levels pick up considerably, parts of the south east face a drought this summer – the first in Britain for six years.
“Groundwater and some reservoirs are below normal levels and above-average rainfall is now needed in parts of the region over the winter months to replenish groundwater supplies for 2018,” said Environment Agency water manager Stuart Sampson.
Long-term stock depletion Normally excess winter rainfall is stored in reservoirs and as groundwater that people use in the summer and which gets replenished the following winter.
This came after a prolonged period of low rainfall between October 2016 and February 2017, when precipiation fell to 78 per cent of its long term average.
“We depend on winter rainfall for the water we supply to our customers and the rain from a few wet days is not enough to seep down into the acquifiers,” SES spokesman SES Water, which supplies nearly 300,000 households in East Surrey, West Sussex, Kent and south London, is calling on customers to “use water wisely”.
“We depend on winter rainfall for the water we supply to our customers and the rain from a few wet days is not enough to seep down into the acquifiers,” a spokesman said.
The Bewl reservoir The Bewl reservoir is only 44 per cent full at the moment, which is better than the 33 per cent level it dipped to in December, but far behind the 75 per cent it should be at at this time of the year.