Rain at last for the South…but is it enough?

Parched and drought stricken areas of southern England are to be offered slight reprieve this weekend as rain is due to spread from the west.

The Met Office is predicting the “first significant rain for many weeks”. A Met Office spokesperson told edie news that this is likely to be persistent for a day or two, turning to showers after the weekend.

Southern England has been experiencing its driest conditions for over a decade and hosepipe bans and water restrictions have been imposed by several water companies.

Southern Water itself was the first to impose a hosepipe ban (see related story)and Thames Water has started drawing on emergency aquifers to satisfy demand (see related story).

However, a spokesperson for Southern Water told edie that while the rain was welcome, it would not replenish the supplies.

“This is definitely not a cure all,” she said. “Rainy days do help because people tend to use far less water on those days, but this won’t be enough to refill the reservoirs. One big problem is that the ground is now so packed and hard that rain simply runs off, rather than soaking in and restocking the aquifers.”

Southern, along with virtually all other water companies, relies on winter rains to refill reservoirs. Now they have to hope that this autumn and winter will bring sufficient rainfall to replenish the stocks for next year.

In the meantime, all water users are reminded to use water as sparingly as possible and to keep water conservation in mind, no matter what the weather may bring.

By David Hopkins

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