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High and dry but no drought yet

PUBLISHED: 11:12 10 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:43 03 March 2010

DESPITE the sunniest March for 100 years authorities say Suffolk is not at risk of another drought – at least not yet.

Although we have had the sunniest March since 1907, water levels in our rivers and reservoirs are still healthy, the Environment Agency maintains.

DESPITE the sunniest March for 100 years authorities say Suffolk is not at risk of another drought – at least not yet.

Although we have had the sunniest March since 1907, water levels in our rivers and reservoirs are still healthy, the Environment Agency maintains.

Springtime in Suffolk has been extremely dry and very sunny. There was almost 50 per cent less rainfall and over 150 per cent more sunshine this last month compared to the national average.

But East Anglia, with its flat terrain, is one of the driest regions in the country – with a rainfall a third less than the national average and low rainfall in the early 1990s brought a drought to the Suffolk region.

The rivers ran low and people were warned to use water wisely.

But today there is no cause for concern at present, says the Environment Agency, because we had such a lot of rain from last October to January.

A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said: "We have had below average rainfall for February and March, but the ground water level, which maintains the rivers, is still healthy because we had quite a lot of rainfall in the winter.

"But we don't know whether there will be problems in the summer – it depends on how much rain we have, and how sunny it is, over the next few months."

The local water board has said that the low rainfall this spring is unlikely to cause any water shortages.

A spokeswoman for Anglia Water said: "We have seen through several dry periods – such as in the early 1990s – and we have not had a hose pipe ban for ever a decade.

"All our reservoirs are more than 90 per cent full. We have no cause for concern at this moment in time. If we go for another six months with absolutely no rain, then we would begin to get worried."

Research has shown that although global warming will lead to hotter and drier summers, it will also lead to rainier winters.

"We may be having drier summers, but we are also having wetter and longer winters," added the spokeswoman for Anglia Water, "We will have no problems as long as this balance is maintained."


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