Water water everywhere but not a drop for hoses

Saturday, May 5, 2012
11:02 AM

THE wettest April since 1998 has seen downpours on almost every day but has made no lasting impact on the South East’s ongoing drought.

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Amateur meteorologist Richard Barker’s Iceni weather station in Royston has recorded 103.6mm of rain this month with it falling almost constantly between April 16-29.

He said: “We have reached the 100mm mark and the average for April is 43.8mm.

“I think it is the wettest April since 1998. That was just over 107mm and that was the year we had the catastrophic floods in Northampton and Nene Valley because all the rain came around Easter.

“It has certainly been a very wet month and without looking at my records it’s probably the wettest month of any for some time.”

Mr Barker also said he “wouldn’t be surprised” to see the rainfall continue in May.

Despite the almost constant rain Veloia water say it “will do little to help replenish ground water supplies” and hosepipes will remain banned in Royston.

The water company which supplies the town takes most of its water from underground chalk aquifers.

The soil has become so dry rain will either run off the surface into rivers, or be absorbed by the soil and not permeate downwards.

Mike Pocock, Water Resources Manager of Veolia Water said: “The critical period for recharging our aquifers is between October and March each year.

“The recent rainfall has been good for the environment and reduces demand for water. Unfortunately this rainfall is unlikely to replenish groundwater levels in our region.”

However customers of Cambridge Water who supply parts of South Cambs, including Meldreth, Melbourn and Fowlmere, have not banned hosepipes as its underground supplies have not been affected by the dry conditions.

The firm is however asking customers to be careful with water.

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