Sunday, 8 April 2012

How bad is the 'drought'?

Now the hose-pipe ban been implemented the rain has started to fall, albeit in small amounts, so far! Comparisons have been made with the 'drought' of 1975/6. Comparing the rainfall figures for Kew in 1975 and Morden 2011 the totals are as follows:- Annual total Kew 1975 was 558mm. Annual total Morden 2011 was 510mm. Total from July to December (Kew) 1975 (6 months) 263mm (this included 51mm in just 1 day during September!). Total from July to December (Morden) 2011 (6 months) 268mm. For the last 3 months of 1975 the total was 108mm, in 2011 it was 123mm. The first 3 months of 1976 produced just 46mm. January to March this year has given 73mm. The '75/76 drought did not really become serious until the summer months of 1976 when days of unbroken sunshine accompanied by brisk winds, heat and low humidity conspired to reduce reservoir levels dramatically. Yes, some of the reservoirs this year are down below 50% capacity, and yes leaks from pipes are unacceptably high, but it remains to be seen if the the widespread ban on hoses is a justified precaution against water shortages, or a cynical political ploy to soften us up for the compulsory use of water meters!

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