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  • by Karma Loveday

Autumn water resources healthy, but three areas still in drought

Water resources are in a generally healthy position as we go into the autumn following a wet July and August, according to the latest meeting of the multi-stakeholder National Drought Group.

As of 6 September, total reservoir capacity across England was 81% full. The August total rainfall for England was 72mm, which represents 102% of the 1961 to 1990 long term average (LTA) for the time of year and 96% of the 1991 to 2020 LTA.

Most rivers, reservoirs and groundwater are in line with expectations for the time of year. The exceptions are Cornwall, Devon and north Norfolk, which remain in drought.

The group highlighted that recent hot weather has caused river flows to fall and that some water companies have reported increases in demand – a reminder of the ongoing challenge of securing supply in the face of a growing population, urbanisation and climate change. The group reiterated the need for robust drought planning and wise use of water.

According to the group’s analysis, water company draft water resources management plans show nearly 50% of homes are expected to be smart metered by 2040.


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