Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The Weather and Rain

It’s what we English talk about isn’t it? So let’s chat.

We have at last had a bit of rain here in the south-east. But despite the fact that more rain fell in 24hours than in the previous 3 months the UK still faces a prolonged drought. So says the Environment Agency.

The month of April was the warmest April on record in Britain. It was also the 11th driest month, with on average just half the usual rainfall. And in parts of south-east England, there was less than 10% of normal precipitation. The BBC.

Lack of rain already causing crop failures, Defra warns – The Telegraph.
Caroline Spelman said that water companies’drought preparations are being reviewed as several areas of the country are already “water stressed”.

And if you think it’s bad here, take a look at France.

What to do?

Well, just as we shouldn’t waste energy we shouldn’t waste water.

According to Waterwise the South East of England has less water available per person than Sudan and Syria.

Waterwise doesn’t want people to stop using water, we want people to stop wasting water. The key to water efficiency is reducing waste, not restricting use. About one third of the water each person uses on a daily basis is wasted – it runs straight down the plughole or down the toilet without being used. It is this wastage we want to cut down.

Waterwise is currently carrying out cost-benefit analysis on the advantages of demand side measure rather than supply side measures. It is Waterwise’s opinion that water efficiency and water meters when combined with improving leaks from water mains is more cost effective and better for the environment than building new reservoirs to increase the supply of water.
Click for Quick Tips on How you can be water wise - Simple actions can make big differences

Redbridge residents can get discounts on a range of compost bins and water butts.


  1. When we arrived home from a tour of the Midlands and North west recently, Mrs Knowsie said "Don't believe all that claptrap about a drought in the South East - we've got a foot of water in our cellar!"

    As I continued unloading the car, I spotted a bit of fresh tarmac protruding from under the front bumper ...

    Our neighbours told us that the burst - quite a big one, by all accounts - had been reported promptly but it took Essex & Suffolk Water five days to respond ...!

    Having now pumped out the cellar I, like my neighbours, am not impressed by pleas for conservation measures ...

    And no, that does not mean that I am going on a wasting water spree ...

  2. So, when you pumped out your cellar did you tip it straight down the drain or did you think to give your roses a drink?

  3. I have an old neon tube light cover under my patio doors. Rain runs of the doors and fills the cover. I use it to water my plant pots. A toad took up residence in it a few autumns ago and stayed until it got too cold. You can't let the water stand too long or it gets filled with gnat larvae. If that happens, I empty it. It also needs emptying before a freeze.

    I am now the proud owner of a cardboard recycling box. I filled it up this week. I'm amazed how much cardboard used to go in my dustbin: cigar packets, cereal boxes, meal sleeves, etc. I think I'll only be putting my bin liner out once a fortnight from now on.

  4. Roses don't need watering! Roses should not be watered if planted in the ground.
    Loads of plants don't need watering.
    Lots of us don't realise (or do not want to know!) that watering is discouraging plants from creating a good root system.
    By all means, water a seedling just out of its compost and into the ground and water plants in containers but the rest of them should cope.

  5. Roses? You've got to be joking!

    The pump hose is just long enough to feed out of the coal hole and the front garden must have been well waterlogged, so I connected the hose to a bit of pipe and did with it exactly what Essex and Suffolk Water did with the rest of it - passed it onto Thames Water for disposal!

    In case anybody finds the above confusing, perhaps I should explain that part of Redbridge gets its water from E&SW. The rest - which probably includes Barkingside - is supplied by TW but TW are responsible for sewerage services throughout the borough.

  6. For those of us who remember our Geography as taught 60 odd years ago, the problems being faced in the East of England are not new or some phenomena due to global warming (although it doesn't help) but the fact that prevailing winds in the Spring and Summer are predominantly West / South West and as such most of the precipitation will fall in those areas where the higher land faces west.

    We I hardly need say are in the East and on a generally flat plain (once you leave the Chiltern's) and do not get the Rain in the same quantity as our Western Cousins.

    Anne is correct Roses grown in the ground do not require large amounts of water and Essex is perfect for them they do like clay, but more important its knowing where plants originate? In the case of Roses Eastern Turkey and points east.