Veolia issues warning of potential drought for Hertfordshire

PUBLISHED: 11:56 17 February 2012

Experts believe East Anglia could be facing the worst drought in living memory. Photo: Angela Sharpe

Experts believe East Anglia could be facing the worst drought in living memory. Photo: Angela Sharpe

Archant © 2011

A DROUGHT warning has been issued by Veolia Water as low rainfall continues to take its toll on water levels in the South East of England.

The potential for a drought has increased due to a second consecutive dry autumn and winter – seasons crucial to the refill cycle of the company’s water supplies.

Veolia Water’s Water Resources Manager, Mike Pocock, said: “The last 18 months have been exceptionally dry with rainfall patterns consistent to those seen during times of drought.

“This autumn and winter has only had 60 per cent of normal rainfall to replenish our water supplies. This is further compounded by only 65 per cent over the same period during the previous year so we really are seeing challenging times.”

He went on: “Even with the wettest weather over the next few months we will not see conditions improve hugely for the spring, and that’s why we want to ask our customers to help us prepare now for a dry summer next year and avoid possible restrictions.”

Veolia Water Central takes 60 per cent of its water supply from underground aquifers with the remaining 40 per cent of supplies coming from surface water sources. It supplies the whole of Hertfordshire.

But the water company continues to keep leakage under control with levels now at an all-time low.

Mike Pocock added: “We’re currently on track to meet the leakage target set by our regulator, Ofwat. However, we are still very keen for our customers to continue to report leaks. Even more so in the colder weather, a time when we tend to experience more bursts.”

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