Recent rainfall is welcome, but does little to help drought conditions

After two successive autumn and winters of well below average rainfall, the Environment Agency has declared over half of England to be in a state of drought. At this time of year, most rainfall is absorbed by trees and plants for growth, or is lost to evaporation. The soil above the underground chalk aquifers, from which Veolia Water takes most of its water, has also become so dry that rain will either run off the surface into rivers, or be absorbed by the soil and not permeate downwards.

Mike Pocock, Water Resources Manager of Veolia Water said: "The critical period for recharging our aquifers is between October and March each year. The recent rainfall has been good for the environment and reduces demand for water.Unfortunately this rainfall is unlikely to replenish groundwater levels in our region.

Following the unusually dry weather we have experienced over the past 24 months, we will need prolonged and substantial rainfall over next autumn and winter to recharge our aquifers and to move us out of a drought situation."

Veolia Water's website contains more information on the drought, where visitors can receive advice and tips on saving water and using water more efficiently, together with free and discounted water saving devices at:

Notes to Editors:

For further information please contact Kevin Barton on: Tel. 01707 277110, email: [email protected],

About us:

Veolia Water Central is the UK's largest water supply only company and is part of Veolia Water UK. We are committed to delivering a high quality water service to all our customers. We provide 870 million litres of water each day to a population of 3 million people, in parts of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, the London Boroughs of Harrow and Hillingdon and parts of the London Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, and Enfield. Our supply area covers a total of 3,700 square kilometres, stretching from Luton and Royston in the north to Guildford in the south, and from Berkhamsted in the west to Dunmow in the east.

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South East England is experiencing the worst drought in 100 years. Please help us to ensure that there is enough water for all our needs by using tap water wisely.

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