Rainfall and Resources

August 2017:

Groundwater Levels: Significantly below average

Bough Beech reservoir: Slightly below average

We have welcomed the recent heavy rainfall which has helped to significantly reduce the demand for water and benefitted the environment. On very wet days we will typically need to distribute approximately 50 million fewer litres than on a hot and dry day when peak demand can reach 210 million litres a day – that’s equivalent to around 84 Olympic swimming pools. However, we depend mostly on winter rainfall for the water we supply to our customers. This is known as the ‘recharge season’ when the rain is able to reach the water-holding rock underground, known as an aquifer, which can then be abstracted for treatment. In the summer, the majority of rainfall evaporates quickly or is used by plants and trees rather than seeping deeper into the soil and below. Groundwater levels are important as 85 per cent of the water we supply to our customers comes from underground.

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. This balance between rainfall and demand has resulted in lower than average groundwater levels and the south east is already classified as being in ‘serious water stress’ due to low rainfall and the increasing demand for water from households, businesses and agriculture.

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 customers is to use water wisely; for example by taking shorter showers, fixing dripping taps and always putting full loads in washing machines and dishwashers. To find out how your household could be more water efficient and apply for free water saving devices go to www.seswater.co.uk/calculator.


Current Resource Levels

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

Bough Beech Reservoir Level

 Information updated on 1 September. 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 1 September. Click on graph to enlarge.

Water demand

Information updated on 1 September. 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

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