More rain needed to boost water supplies

No Caption ABCDE PPP-161027-105718001
No Caption ABCDE PPP-161027-105718001

Rain is needed to boost water supplies across the area.

Water company bosses say above average winter rainfall is needed and that due to a dry winter last year, groundwater levels started this year lower than hoped for.

Similarly, the start to this year’s winter recharge season has again been drier than average in the south east, with October receiving just 40 per cent long term average rainfall.

At this point, surface water reservoirs at Arlington and Ardingly are in a good position, but above average winter rainfall is needed to refill during the winter recharge period overall from October to April for underground sources to return fully to normal levels.

Lee Dance, the head of water resources at South East Water, which supplies drinking water across Eastbourne, said, “Levels at our two reservoirs at Arlington and Ardingly in Sussex are in a good position. These reservoirs store up to 8,300 million litres of water and together provide eight per cent of all the water we supply.

“About three quarters of our supply comes from aquifers which are natural water-bearing permeable rocks deep underground where water storage levels change over a much longer period of time than in surface reservoirs. This is because it can take weeks or even months for rain water to percolate through the layers of soil and rock.

“However, we are at the start of the winter recharge season and, as always, we will be monitoring the levels closely.

“Whatever the weather we always ask our customers to use water wisely but we are stepping up the messaging even more so this year to help the recovery of these aquifers before the hot weather returns and demand increases again.”