Why a wet week won’t dent the drought

DESPITE the wet weekend weather, Anglian Water is warning that drought still poses a very real threat to the region.

Ciaran Nelson from Anglian Water is warning against complacency, and said: “It’s going to take a lot more than a few wet days to get us back to our target position for this time of year.

“We’re dealing with the impact of two consecutive dry winters, with the months in between also suffering from below average rainfall. To recover from a situation like this will take months of persistent rain.

“A few wet days, while welcome, won’t do much to change the underlying situation.”

With much of the region now officially in drought, the water company is reminding people of the importance of saving water. And with spring starting to show across the region, customers are being encouraged to consider what they can do now to save water for summer, including installing water butts to collect water, and choosing drought-tolerant plants for the garden.

“We’re prepared for dry weather here in the East,” says Ciaran, “as we only get two-thirds of the rainfall of the rest of the country in a good year. But we could never have anticipated the incredibly low rainfall that has left rivers at such low levels, and prevented us filling our reservoirs at the time of year when we need them to be topped up.

“Last year, we only got about 42cm of rain in the whole year – that’s two thirds of what we would expect.”

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“While the rain that fell this weekend will help to tackle the lack of water in the ground, we need the ground to be saturated before excess water can find its way into our aquifers, rivers and reservoirs. Unfortunately, we need months of persistent rain to get to this position.”