The winter of 2016/17 has been a very dry affair across the UK. The December 2016 rainfall totals were well below the long term average for England at only 44%, with modest soil moisture deficits remaining across much of the country. Coupled to this, river flows decreased at the majority of indicator sites and were normal or lower for the time of year.
The situation was much the same through most of January, with only a modest improvement with the wetter weather at the end of the month. While we are not in a drought situation today, dry winters and a corresponding lack of groundwater recharge, is the precursor for problems later in the year. Of course, the largest concern comes from a second dry winter in succession, which has very significant implications.
We at Envireau Water will be watching the situation carefully on behalf of clients where water supply is critical to their business and we will issue updates periodically through the year. We’re not worrying yet, but if water supply is critical to your business, then you should put this issue on your radar.
For those of you that wish to go into some detail on drought management, this recent paper from the University of Cranfield examines learnings from the 2011 / 12 experience.