Water reports highlight lack of rain in late spring

The latest water reports show the South East experienced a very dry May, with some counties receiving less than half their long term average rainfall.

In its latest water reports, the Environment Agency said last month the region as a whole had 57% of the long term average for May, which was the third consecutive month with below average rainfall.

Soil moisture deficits continued to increase throughout the month and at the end of May were almost 50% higher than the long term average.

Recharge has been limited after low rainfall and high soil moisture deficits for the summer so far.

Flows generally declined at most of the indicator sites and fell to below normal flows for May at all but three sites. Groundwater levels at all of the indicator sites fell or levelled off this month and all but three sites were at below normal levels or lower.

But parts of the South East were even drier. Solent and South Downs stood at just 46% of the long term average, while the Wessex area had 53%, the Thames area had 54%, and Kent was the ‘wettest’ on 66%.