Could a soggy Spring help to avoid hosepipe bans in the South East this Summer?

  • ITV Meridian's Joe Coshan reports from Bewl Water.

One of the soggiest Springs on record for the region may not be enough to prevent further restrictions on our water from being imposed this summer, experts have warned.

With more than 200mm of rainfall already, this Spring has been wetter than average.

The wettest spring on record was back in 1979 with 281.8mm in Central and Southern England.

At Bewl Water, the largest reservoir in the South East, is back to 98% capacity from a low of 38% last year.

Roger Dunn, a farmer from Canterbury, told ITV Meridian being able to extract water from the Richborough stream has been a "godsend" after a difficult season.

"Last summer posed some challenges with it being so dry, but you have to be fairly flexible. If you can get out every morning and do whatever you want it's easy.

"For people who rely on reservoirs, another hot year will make it difficult. And a nice wet spring has set us up for the next few months."

2022 saw an extensive dry spell with some of the driest conditions for 30 years. Credit: ITV Meridian

The National Drought Group, made up of decision-makers from water companies, government, and the Environment Agency, say one more hot and dry spell could mean another drought this summer.

Water companies can't completely rule out further restrictions, such as hosepipe bans, from being imposed on household usage this summer.

Southern Water's Tim McMahon told ITV Meridian: "Clearly we're seeing extreme weather, March was one of the wettest on record, so I can't say there will not be any restrictions, but it is highly unlikely that'll happen."

Analysis by the environment agency is warning that by 2040, water levels in Kent and Sussex will be under severe stress because of climate change.

Karen Gibbs from the Consumer Council for Water, says more reservoirs will be needed to keep up with demand.

"Currently we know that there's a big gap in the demand that's likely to be made on our services and the water available so new resources will be necessary."

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