In the South East, we rely on winter rainfall ( between October and February) to recharge our aquafers. To bring our aquifers up to near normal levels will require an exceptionally wet winter. To date there is no sign of this happening.
Summary – October 2017
October was a month of notably low rainfall with just 31% of the Long Term Average (LTA) over the Kent and South London area. Although summer rainfall has been near normal, totals over the past 12 months remain below normal, and effective rainfall over the same period has been less than half the average.
Soil moisture deficits ended the month close to twice the Long Term Average and no appreciable recharge occurred to already depleted groundwater. End of month groundwater levels were mainly notably low or exceptionally low. Monthly mean river flows ranged from below normal to exceptionally low: for the Great Stour at Horton flows were second lowest on record for October (after 1996).
The Bewl reservoir water level ended the month at only 36% of capacity, which is just below the previous record low for the time of year.
Both the EA and water companies are planning for the implications of another dry winter.