Today’s announcement by the Environment Agency recognises the welcome effect of the recent heavy rainfall on the natural environment.
However, the situation in the Anglian Water region remains serious.
While the rain has helped to refill our reservoirs, levels in the natural, groundwater aquifers remain significantly below normal.
Water abstracted from aquifers accounts for half of all the water we supply to customers, so these groundwater stores are incredibly important sources of water.
Some of the rain has found its way into the aquifers and some recharge has taken place. However, these underground stores were very low – in some cases historically so – after two years of well below average rainfall.
We need to remember that the few wet weeks we have just experienced comes after two dry years and most importantly, two dry winters.
The refill of aquifers is a natural process which largely occurs during the autumn and winter months. We are now entering the time of year when aquifer and reservoir levels typically begin to fall once more.
Our concern is that, despite some recovery, these already low levels will deplete further over the summer. This and the possibility of a third dry winter means we need to continue to do what we can to conserve water.
This, unfortunately, means that the hosepipe ban will not be lifted, but we will keep the situation under constant review.