Water resources

February 2019 update

The region experienced exceptionally dry weather in January, with just 41% of the long term average rainfall. This was preceded by higher than average levels of rainfall in November (113%) and December (110%). As a result, the rain received in the last six months (August to January) has been 80% of the long-term average, at 437 mm.

Surface reservoir storage remained high throughout January, and by the end of the month total storage was 96% of total capacity (please see the table below for our latest resource position). Pumped storage (where we pump water from rivers to top up storage in the surface reservoirs) is currently running into Wimbleball reservoir, which was 84% full at the beginning of February. 

River flows are monitored on a daily basis to ensure stream supports are switched on as the appropriate flow triggers are reached. In response to the dry weather, most river flows decreased throughout January and remain below average for the time of year. Stream supports which help improve river flows are in operation in the following locations:

  • Chitterne (Chitterne Brook, nr Warminster)
  • Watergates (Tadnoll Brook, Dorset)

The dry period which began at the end of December and continued through January slowed groundwater recharge and caused a decrease in levels at some sites.  The groundwater levels at Woodyates and Ashton Farm (both monitoring the chalk aquifer) are decreasing and are now below average for the time of year. The groundwater at Tilshead in Wiltshire is continuing to increase, although at a slower rate than last month. 

Demand for water increased by 20% during the hot dry weather of June and July. Demand has decreased since this period and is now similar to the levels expected for the time of year.

We are committed to helping customers to reduce their water use. We offer free water efficiency devices to our customers and also provide useful tips on how to reduce water use both in in the home and garden. Using water wisely can reduce customers' utility bills and help their local environment. 

Weekly update - 22/02/2019

Rainfall Reservoirs Groundwater Supporting river flows  Leaks fixed this year  Water saving initiatives 
83% of average - for the last 12 months
41% of average - for last month
 100% full (as of 22/02/2019) Below average   7 million litres per day (as of 22/02/2019) 12,200  3.4 million litres since 2015 

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