The Standard making good use of a picture of (as they say themselves) "a very low tide" to illustrate a drought, which as others flagged up may or may not have any relevance.
"London faces a hosepipe ban “within weeks” after one of the driest Februarys on record increased the threat of a major drought this summer."
"A Thames Water source said: “The real problem is we just don’t know what the summer is going to bring. If we get average rainfall then we should be fine but we have to prepare for the worst.”"
"The companies that serve the worst affected areas, stretching in an arc from Hampshire to East Anglia and Lincolnshire, are expected to appoint a “drought czar” to co-ordinate efforts to save water."
"A third dry winter on the trot, which has not happened since the 1780s in London, would mean much more severe measures such as limiting water supplies to as little as six hours a day or reducing water pressure."
"Current forecasts suggest that the settled spell will last beyond the traditional start of spring on March 21 through to the Easter long weekend beginning on April 6." [maybe]
Anyway obviously oustanding news for all concerned that people are appointing czars.
Maybe cynicism is in order but I see several of southern England river are only flowing because the EA are returning treated water to them. Ok, that water may have come out of the same rivers but it either puts the low river flows in a context or shows how much water we use.
Whatever, there is absolutely no prospect of significant rain for the dry areas in forecastable ranges (and imo this month) so things can only get dryer.
Don't take my post as unduly critical . I just think there is a pretty remarkable drought in some places already (I read parts of Cambridgeshire have had just 100mm in the last six months - that's semi desert levels of rainfall) and without a turn around like 2007 there is the potential for something like 1976 to occur. Again, imo, it's about as likely to happen as at any time since then.
I think there is some need for the Govt/population to act accordingly.
Edited by user 11 March 2012 14:40:47(UTC)
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The big problem is not purely the low rainfall. It's the increasing population. I've not studied the demographics since 1976 but it's pretty obvious that there has been a big increase in building as well which has denuded the green spaces. When that happens you decrease the groundwater supply as property run off goes down the drains and not into the subsoil.
The lesson of 1976 was that it doesn't take long for a problem to occur. There was no issue as we went into the summer of 1975 but that was a hot and dry one. This time we haven't had any hot dry weather in summer BUT the seeds were being sown last spring. The interesting things will be:-
a) will summer be hot
b) will winter 2012/13 be dry
Fascinating to watch from a meteorological POV. I think we've sleepwalked into this tbh, probably because the affected areas are quite localised wrt the UK as a whole and it doesn't actually need to be that dry for issues to start to surface, especially in the highly(over) populated SE
The Daily Mail is running some quotes for a summer drought today
The highest temperature ever recorded for March was 25 degrees (77F) in Cambridgeshire in 1968. 'I don't think we are on course to get anywhere near that but hopefully we will see a warm and sunny March,' the forecaster said.
But Mr Goodfellow warned that England could be on course for a drought this summer after parts of the country saw the driest February for 14 years. Lincolnshire had one of the driest months on record after only 10mm of rain fell in the whole month while East Anglia saw just 20mm when the average rainfall for the country at this time of year is between 40 and 60mm. 'This emphasises why there are concerns about a drought. It could well happen,' said Mr Goodfellow
Two things stand out and that is 2 years of below average rainfall for the south and second overpopulation in the SE the two don't mix.
To the bold bit, a large area around this way, gets fresh water from Southern Water, which comes mostly from natural underground resevoirs, and waste water goes to Thames Water, for treatment and then goes back into the Thames.
I think we all know what Gavin's preferences are and I suspect your reasoned approach may be falling on deaf ears As ever, it doesn't matter what any of us wish for. I could get annoyed with YD or Darren praying for a cool and miserable summer but I don't bother as we can't affect it. What i do know is that regardless of whether we have endless and seemingly boring HP, the sub-story of drought makes it very interesting indeed
last night i had a nightmare. it was that as the se of england was suffering from a drought that the government decided to build loads of lakes etc to solve the problem and charge tax payers nationwide the cost. as a resident of cornwall where we have been payinng the highest water bills for 2 decades to clean up our coastline and build new water storeage with not a penny of help from central gov why the f==== should we end up paying for other companies lack of future planning. it may not happen but?
I think what Steam Fog may be getting at is, Gavin D is the type of person who doesn't want snow because it causes disruption, but a drought is far more serious then a few trains cancelled here and there.
I hear you. Back in the 70's after the '76 drought, Yorkshire Water built a ton of new reservoirs in the Yorkshire Dales. These reservoirs are now above normal, so despite the dry conditions in Yorkshire Leeds eastwards, we're not at all in danger of drought.
as far as im concerned not a penny of tax payers cash should be spent on sorting out this problem as the water industry is all private and therefore good times and bad times come to mind
As I said i don't know how it breaks down. The South East obviously generates a lot of tax revenue (even accepting novel tax efficient schemes for some). And I suspect that in general the South West ends up being a beneficiary. So maybe when one part of the country is in trouble the others should help out?
But that assumes that this works across the country (UK). And maybe it doesn't.
Anyway the winning play seems to me to try and help the rest of the country where ever you are rather than to see it as the south east vs the north east or the north west versus the south west etc.
Seems the strong move to me.
HOSEPIPE bans are expected to be imposed within days as Britain faces the worst drought conditions for 124 years.
Water companies are poised to act after tomorrow’s official drought report by the Environment Agency.
The South and East have been worst hit over the past few months with water reserves now at “very severe levels”.
But the report will upgrade the Midlands and Yorkshire to “high risk”.
The Met Office is also forecasting no significant rainfall until May or June.
Water companies across southern and eastern England are bringing in hosepipe bans in the face of drought conditions
Reservoirs, lakes and rivers aren't noticeably low in this region - and rain fell IMBY on both Saturday and Sunday
Water companies across southern and eastern England are to introduce hosepipe bans amid drought conditions.
Seven firms say they will impose water restrictions after two unusually dry winters left reservoirs, aquifers and rivers below normal levels.
Southern Water, South East Water, Thames Water, Anglian Water, Sutton and East Surrey, Veolia Central and Veolia South East are to enforce restrictions.
The drought-affected areas are the south-east of England and East Anglia.
Edited by user 12 March 2012 12:02:21(UTC)
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