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Water water everywhere... but it's not enough
THE HEAVY rainfall over the weekend has done little to ease pressure on the water supply in the region, the Environment Agency has said.
Just weeks after the area was declared to be in drought and a hosepipe ban was imposed by Thames Water, the town saw some of the heaviest rain in the last two years fall in just one week.
It meant rail commuters suffered major delays as parts of the line between Swindon and Bristol Parkway was flooded yesterday, while organisers of the Badminton Horse Trials said they were forced to cancel the world famous event due to waterlogging.
And as the Met Office forecast more rain overnight the EA put out a flood warning for Dauntsey and other areas in the north of the county.
A spokesman for the Met Office said a total of 62.3mm of rain was recorded in the area last week with 21.2mm of that recorded on Sunday.
But a spokesman for the EA said the additional rainfall was not enough to ease the pressure on the region’s water supply.
He said: “We have had an exceptionally dry period for 36 months and where the ground has been so dry for so long, the rainfall has not been prolonged enough for it to permeate into the water table.
“It would take consistent rainfall over a number of months to restore the deficit.”
A spokesman for Thames Water there was still no end in sight for the hosepipe ban.
He said: “What we are seeing is the surface water running into streams and rivers. When the rivers are swollen we top up our reservoirs and we are capturing the excess.
“But the amount of rainfall we have had has only seen a small reduction in the cumulative deficit built up over the last two years. It has not been consistent or steady enough.”
Looking ahead, a spokesman for the Met Office said the outlook for Swindon was not as wet as last week but the rain would return by Friday.
He said: “We are expecting rain tonight and tomorrow morning which could give a further 15 to 20mm. Tuesday becomes a bit drier as we head into Wednesday and Thursday. There will be a dry spell and then more rain as we head towards the weekend.
“It won’t be bone dry over the next few days but there will be some respite. Friday morning we will see more rain.”