This evening, like yesterday evening, I visited Chasewater. The day’s rain had ceased. I noted yesterday on my 365daysofbiking journal that I think the water level has increased about 500mm in the last week, and I was interested to see how much a days worth of heavy downpour had added to the level.
At the moment, the secondary outlet culvert is still just above the waterline, so it’s a ready indicator of depth. So I thought I’d compare photos 24 hours apart.
As you can see, there has been an increase in level, but not a massive one – maybe 20mm or so. The main area to witness the difference is between the vegetation and the dry bank. So really, a whole day of quite steady rain hasn’t made much difference – and that difference will become less the more the reservoir tends towards full, as the surface area increases.
I’ve seen a lot of comments in the last couple of days about the drought, the water shortage and suchlike. The rain we have had – and it feels like we’ve had a deluge – is clearly not that great. We’ve had three very dry seasons now. One wet week will not correct that, as can be seen above. Please let’s engage our brains. If Chasewater isn’t filling much, neither are our water supply reservoirs.
I noticed last week that it’s now fashionable for rightwing blowhards an op-ed commentators like Peter Rhodes of the Express & Star to deny the drought, the same way they deny climate change, or anything else whose existence threatens their limited, selfish worldview. Take a trip up to Blithfield or Carsington, and take a look at the water levels. Then take a look at the water levels where the drought has really hit, down south.
We still have a drought. We’ve had a wet week. This will not end the problem unless we get a sustained season of heavy rain. In 1976, after a single, long hot summer, it started raining on August Bank Holiday Monday and didn’t really stop again for months. That’s what we need now.
There’s a very good article in the Independent about this. I suggest anyone interested reads it.