We can all look forward a summer of lovely green lawns.says Owen Paterson Minister of the Environment and Rural affairs, as Water Authority bring compulsory hose pipe usage.
In a press conference yesterday Dr Ti Kin-Dimiki, chief hydrologist for Southern Water said
The extra ordinary levels of rain have not only topped up but over filled subterranean reservoirs building up sub-surface pressures to an alarming degree. Unless urgent action is taken to relieve this pressure in a controlled manner the result could be catastrophic.
Southern Water’s archivist John Dory says
This combination of extreme circumstances has not been seen since the lead up to the terrible water quake of 1764 when 764 people lost their lives and vast areas were affected by tremors caused by a similar mechanism that creates fears over the controversial process of fracking.
Dr Kin-Dimiki continued,
The very dry summer caused shrinkage and concretion of the subterranean strata around the reservoirs. The recent prolonged wet spell has filled the void spaces, usually a good thing. Unfortunately there is now a very significant head of water trying to get into these voids. But - and it is a big but - the surrounding areas are still concreted from the dry spell, forming a dam retaining enormous pressures. We have the makings of a giant water bomb that could cause wide spread and structural damage.
The only choice open to the authorities is to pump large quantities of this trapped ground water out of the reservoirs and ask home owners to use as much water as they can.
The Minister said
The government regret the further flooding this will cause in areas like the the Somerset Levels.He sympathetically advised that
If only they had the good sense to drive a nice high Range Rover like mine they would get about much more easily. They should also consider carefully whether they are the authors of their own misfortune, buying in a flood plain in the first place.