Wet April fails to alleviate drought

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TORRENTIAL rain and one of the wettest Aprils in history has failed to eradicate the drought and hosepipe ban.

Skegness weatherman Brian Porter recorded 85.7mm of precipitation throughout the month, exceeding the previous three months’ rainfall combined and also surpassing the figures for the last four Aprils totalled together.

And throughout Lincolnshire as a whole the Environment Agency recorded an even higher figure of 134mm which is nearly three times the long-term monthly average .

But despite the Met Office declaring it the wettest April in over a century as it issued yet more flood warnings across the country, Lincolnshire and many other parts of the UK remain in a state of drought.

A spokesperson for the EA said: “Although we’re seeing lots of rain it will take several weeks for it to trickle through to groundwater, which we regularly monitor and will revise our drought advice if appropriate.

“As we are entering the fast growing season, if the rain stops we could still see rivers and soil dry out again quickly, so it is important that restrictions remain in place until we are certain that groundwater levels are restocked.”

Anglian Water said the recent rainfall has done little to alleviate the drought and has shown no sign of lifting its hosepipe ban.

A spokesperson explained that two years of below average rainfall culminating in the driest March since 1953 left the ground so dry that the recent rainfall has only moistened the earth rather than replenishing the water table.

They said: “The irony that it has rained most days since the hosepipe ban was introduced has not been lost on us.

“But while all the recent rainfall is useful for the environment, it won’t do much to change the underlying problem, or ‘fix’ the drought.

“Unless this rain persists for months it’s unlikely o have long-term impact on river, reservoir and aquifer levels.

“We’ve always said that what we need to reverse this drought and to allow us to lift the ban on the use of hosepipes, is a prolonged period of above average rainfall, over winter, when it can have the most impact on rivers, reservoirs and underground aquifers.