Keeping a close eye on groundwater

Whilst we all are hoping to see those long balmy sunny days and evenings arrive soon, there are concerns about the wish for a scorching summer.

After the recent dry winter, groundwater levels are lower than normal for the current time of year. Meteorological Office data reveals that, in the six months up to January 2017, much of the country was parched, with less than 70% of average rainfall falling across southern regions.

Normally, groundwater is replenished between October and March, when rainfall soaks through the soil and trickles into the underlying aquifer. This water is used for public water supplies and maintains summer river flows.

The British Geological Survey, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and the Environment Agency will continue to keep a close eye on groundwater levels and river flows and will report monthly to water users. Dr Phil Aldous, Water Director at Thomson Ecology, says, ‘ Despite this winter being drier than normal, and, if we do have a dry and hot summer – the resilience built into public water supplies should be sufficient to maintain supplies. But real concerns would emerge if that sequence was followed by a second dry winter’.

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