UK water reserves still low after hot, dry 2011
The newly-published National Hydrological Monitoring Programme update recaps last year's bizarre UK weather.
It was the second warmest on record across Britain, and there were strange discrepancies in rainfall from place to place - drought in lowland England went alongside Scotland's wettest year since records began.
England now needs substantially above-average rainfall over the next two or three months to bring water reserves back up to comfortable levels.
Stocks in reservoirs rose over the month after desperately-needed rain, particularly in the southeast, but are still below average across much of the south. That's because although upland areas had a stormy month, lower-lying regions were largely untouched, with only average rainfall overall - certainly not enough to relieve the built-up drought stress afflicting many areas.
Groundwater is also a concern; it's still at unusually low levels across much of southern England and the west midlands, though some of the southern chalk aquifers made a modest recovery in December.
The National Hydrological Monitoring Programme is operated by Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) and the British Geological Survey.
Posted on 27 January 2012
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