Another drought this year?

At last we’ve been having a bit of rain recently but is it enough to save us from drought this summer?

It looks very unlikely at the moment but of course “drought” in an area of chalk streams is a more complex business.

How wet our gardens are is largely dependent on recent rain. Across much of west Norfolk, the soils are light and free draining so it’s gone almost as quickly as it arrived!

For the chalk streams it is quite a different matter. Rainfall is absorbed by the porous chalk and it begins its slow journey towards the underground aquifer and eventually to head of one of our streams it can take months and years for today’s rain. And there’s the problem. The Gaywood, along with the other streams is running at an exceptionally low level; many springs have simply dried up, already. We are seeing the effect of past year’s exceptionally dry and hot summer alongside the increased borehole abstraction from the aquifer for irrigation and for our water supplies.

This weekend’s rain won’t be showing up in our streams for many months yet. Possibly not before the streams start drying up.

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