Reservoirs topped up but drought still on

Pitsford Reservoir in Northamptonshire is now 83% full following a very wet April. Credit: ITV Anglia

Despite weeks of heavy rain the Anglia region is still officially in drought although rivers and reservoirs have been topped up. After the UK had the wettest April on record other parts of Britain have had their drought status has been lifted.

It was a very wet April in the Anglia region although 1998 was wetter making April 2012 the second wettest on record in this part of the world. Despite the deluge the hosepipe ban remains in force in the Anglian Water area and the the Veolia Water Central area.

The heavy rain has helped top up rivers and reservoirs although underground water stocks in aquifers are still "exceptionally low" according to the Environment Agency.

At the end of March, Pitsford reservoir in Northamptonshire was 63% full close to a record low level for the time of year. Now after six weeks of heavy rain the reservoir is now at 83% capacity which is still classed as "below average". The total reservoir stock in the East of England has risen from 81% full to 90% full between March and April.

Water levels in Pitsford reservoir in Northamptonshire are still below normal despite weeks of heavy rain. Credit: ITV Anglia
Reservoir stocks at the end of April in the Anglia region. Credit: Environment Agency

The rain during April and at the start of May has also replenished the region's rivers. At the end of April the River Nene in Northamptonshire was flowing at record low levels now after a episode of flooding the river flow is 40% above normal.

The River Nene at Billing near Northampton. Credit: ITV Anglia

Drought status has been lifted for 19 areas in the South West, the Midlands and Yorkshire after heavy, persistent rain boosted river and reservoir levels, reducing pressure on the environment and water supplies.

Parts of East Anglia - whose water is supplied by Cambridge Water, Essex and Suffolk Water and Veolia Water East - are also no longer classed as in drought, following the review by the Environment Agency. There are no water restrictions in place for their customers.