Water Industry News

Drought Warning Issued For East Of England

Utility company Anglian Water has issued a warning for the east of England, saying that the region will likely be hit by drought come the summer months after a particularly dry winter.


Despite the area seeing roughly average amounts of rainfall in more recent months, the water supplier has confirmed that it is still in drought status, with groundwater sources (particularly in north Norfolk) still well below normal levels for the time of year. Reservoirs have recovered, however, the BBC reports.


Confirming that a hosepipe ban could be on the horizon, the company noted that parts of the region that rely on groundwater sources for water supplies have seen approximately 80 per cent of their long-term rainfall over the last year.


After the dry conditions seen last summer, this is not sufficient to replenish groundwater supplies, which means these reserves still have a deficit of approximately 1.5 months’ worth of rainfall.


Weatherquest forecaster Dan Holley made similar comments regarding the deficit, saying that not much of a dent has been made since last summer and some rain will really be needed in the near future as we move towards the drier parts of the year.


He explained that rainfall seen last year averaged 76 per cent of expected precipitation levels. Although East Anglia did see 91 per cent of expected rainfall in January, February has been a particularly dry month.


Mr Holley went on to say: “Things like soil moisture and river flow and groundwater are notably or exceptionally low, so we need rain in March.”


The months between November and March are typically referred to as the refill period, the time when river flows are able to recover so that more water can be abstracted and stored in reservoirs, while groundwater levels are replenished by all the winter rainfall.


Sarah Underhill, head of water resources and drought for Anglian Water, explained that East Anglia is the driest region in England and the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. As such, it invests tens of millions annually to build resilience and deliver the best water leakage record in the industry.


If put end to end, the pipe network in the east of England could stretch to Sydney and back, so finding water leaks can be challenging but the supplier continues to prioritise this and plough resources into leak detection and repair.


This is one of the best and most immediate ways of reducing water usage and consumption, since three billion litres of water is lost each day in England alone through leaks.


In fact, this is also something that businesses across all industries and sectors can make a top priority as well… and it’s something that the team here at Switch Water Supplier can certainly help with.


If you’d like to find out more about how to be more water efficient and safeguard resources for future generations, get in touch with us today.