Rain fills up Suffolk's reservoirs

AS the rain beats down on Suffolk yet again, it seems fears of drought are now in the past as all Anglian Water reservoirs are full to the brim!And what is pleasing bosses at the region's largest water supplier even more is that the deluge we've suffered since the autumn has led to a strong recovery in groundwater levels which had been running very low last year.

By Paul Geater

AS the rain beats down on Suffolk yet again, it seems fears of drought are now in the past as all Anglian Water reservoirs are full to the brim!

And what is pleasing bosses at the region's largest water supplier even more is that the deluge we've suffered since the autumn has led to a strong recovery in groundwater levels which had been running very low last year.

Water for homes and businesses comes from one of two sources - huge reservoirs like Alton Water or underground boreholes.


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Investment in new reservoirs over the last 30 years has meant that surface water levels remained reasonably stable last year despite the region enjoying the second dry winter in succession.

However underground water levels - aquifers held in porous rock like chalk - fell seriously and this posed very serious problems for the environment.

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Ground water is vital to feed the upper sections of rivers and streams, and also marshy areas which are rich in wildlife.

Levels were very low last year - and at one stage there was the threat of restrictions being placed on farmers to prevent them from irrigating their crops.

However since the end of the summer there has been so much rain that Anglian Water bosses are delighted by how quickly ground water levels have recovered.

A spokeswoman for the company said: “Rainwater doesn't get through to aquifers during the summer and early autumn. It tends to get soaked up by plants, evaporated away by warm weather, or just runs off into rivers.

“Then water can only reach the aquifer once the ground above it becomes saturated - and that doesn't normally happen until January.

“But this year there was so much rain in the autumn that the aquifers started to recover in November and things are looking very hopeful with all the rain we have had over the last few weeks.”

However ideally Anglian Water chiefs are the one group of people who are hoping that the wet spell continues.

“We still need a lot of rain to completely fill the aquifers,” the spokeswoman said.

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