After what has been quite a serious drought in the UK, we’re now halfway through what could possibly be the wettest June on record. As a result, Thames Water – London’s water supplier – as well as Southern water and Anglian water have decided to lift their hosepipe ban.
For a UK hosepipe ban to be lifted, there needs to be enough water in storage to reach demand. As London and the south of England rely on surface water – the rainfall has replenished supplies in reservoirs and rivers.
A lot of the water we drink gets stored in large reservoirs across the country. Reservoirs such as the Bewl water reservoir in Kent store massive amounts of water, which are maintained by pumping water in from adjacent rivers and also collect rain. The Bewl water reservoir goes as deep as 30metres, with a total capacity of more than 31 million litres.
However, even though surface water is back to normal – with reservoirs now 75% full on average – what really matters is the water levels in the ground.
Groundwater is essentially what maintains rivers, and the water levels have generally been below average this year. This is why only the water companies mentioned above (Thames, Southern and Anglian) have lifted their bans. Water companies more north, who rely much more on ground water sources, still have their bans in place.
With rainfall in April being up by a massive 162%, it made up for May’s rainfall being -24% below the monthly average. As June has been so wet, we’re getting there with replenishing supplies to their fullest. However, it’s always best to keep saving water wherever you can.
Read some more water saving tips in the PGS Online water saving section to this website.