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 Weekly Water Situation report - Weds 25 April – Tues 1 May

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PostSubject: Weekly Water Situation report - Weds 25 April – Tues 1 May   Sat May 05, 2012 8:15 pm

Summary
It has been the wettest April on record for England and Wales. River flows have
responded and are currently normal or higher for the time of year at all of our indicator
sites. Soil moisture deficits have decreased or remain similar to last week. Groundwater
levels have risen in the limestone and more responsive chalk aquifers, but still remain
low for the time of year in many areas. Reservoir stocks have increased in all our
regions.
Rainfall
It has been the wettest April on record for England and Wales. Rainfall totals for the past week
ranged from 48mm in our Anglian Region to 67mm in our South West Region. Rainfall totals for
April ranged from 151% of the April long term average in our North West Region to 284% in our
South West Region (Table 1 and Figure 1).
Soil Moisture Deficit
Soil moisture deficits have decreased or remain very similar to last week. The largest decrease
was in our Anglian Region, where deficits reduced by 15mm and currently a deficit of 20mm
remains. Elsewhere, soil moisture deficits are now 10mm or less in all our regions with EA
Wales now close to zero (Figure 2).
River Flows
River flows have increased across all of England and Wales this week and flows are currently
normal or higher at all of our indicator sites. A number of flood warnings were issued during the
past week. Flows are exceptionally high for the time of year at approximately half of all our
indicator sites. Flows in the groundwater-dominated River Coln have returned to normal for the
time of year for the first time in 15 months (Figures 3 & 4).
Groundwater Levels
Groundwater levels in some aquifers have started to rise in response to April’s rainfall. There
have been notable increases in levels in those indicator sites located in the limestone and more
responsive chalk aquifers. Elsewhere, levels remain the same or similar to last week and 11
sites remain exceptionally low for the time of year, down from 14 last week (Figures 5 & 6).
Reservoir Stocks
The high rainfall this week has helped increase reservoir stocks at nearly all our reported
reservoirs or reservoir groups this week. Ardingly, Bewl and Darwell reservoirs in our South East
Region remain classed as exceptionally low for the time of year, although stocks have increased
here, by up to 14% in the past week (Figure 7). Regional reservoir stocks have also increased,
with the largest increase of 6% seen in our South West Region (Figure Cool.
Outlook
On Thursday, rain in the Midlands, south Wales and East Anglia will clear leaving behind light
showers for the rest of Thursday and Friday. On Saturday a band of rain is expected to affect
southern areas, while the rest of England and Wales will remain largely dry. On Sunday,
persistent showers are expected in northern England, with dry weather elsewhere. Monday and
Tuesday are expected to remain unsettled.
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