Rainfall and Resources

Groundwater Levels: Significantly below average

Bough Beech reservoir: Slightly below average

The south-east region is classified as being in ‘serious water stress’ and this is because of the low rainfall we receive and the increasing demand for water from households, businesses and agriculture.

We depend mostly on winter rainfall for the water we supply to our customers. Last winter was very cold and grey but it was actually quite dry and we only received two-thirds of the long-term average rainfall. Despite the amount of rain we have received so far this year, the recent prolonged dry period together with above average temperatures has seen the average demand for water within our area soar. At times demand reached over 210 million litres a day (compared to an average of 160 million litres) – that’s equivalent to around 84 Olympic sized swimming pools worth of water in just one day. This balance between rainfall and demand has resulted in lower than average groundwater levels. The Met Office predict more prolonged dry and warm spells to come.

Groundwater levels are important as 85% of the water we supply to our customers comes from underground. We have 34 borehole sources in our supply area, mainly abstracting water from the chalk and greensand aquifers along the North Downs. Bough Beech reservoir in Kent, which is supplied from the River Eden, provides the remaining 15% of our supplies.

We are not currently planning to introduce water supply restrictions, such as a hosepipe ban, this year, but we are carefully monitoring both our resource levels and the Met Office long term weather forecast. To minimise the need for restrictions, our advice to SES Water customers is to be mindful of the water they are using; for example by taking shorter showers, fixing dripping taps and using a watering can instead of a hose. To find out how your household could be more water wise and apply for free water saving devices go to www.seswater.co.uk/calculator.

Actual Rainfall (bar) and Long Term Average (line)

(A missing bar in the following graph indicates that no data is available for that month at this time)

The difference between Actual Rainfall and the Long Term Average


Current Resource Levels

please click on the diagram above for an enlarged copy (pdf)

Bough Beech Reservoir Level

 Information updated on 19 July. Click on graph to enlarge.

Well House Inn Reference Borehole Level

Graph showing the water level in the Well House Inn borehole

Information updated on 19 July. Click on graph to enlarge.

Water demand

Information updated on 19 July. Click on graph to enlarge.

Raw Data Spreadsheet

To download this spreadsheet please click on the following link:

excel.zip - a ZIP format file containing the full set of all available data in a multi-sheet Excel format spreadsheet. (data updated monthly)

Information updated on 13 July