The April water situation: in detail

The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology have published their April update on the hydrological situation which makes interesting reading, full of superlatives that will delight all fully paid-up collectors of extreme statistics.

Warmest ever April, driest soils for 50 years and lowest ever river flows for the last week in April.

It seems almost churlish, and a little unfair, to complain about such a splendid set of information.

The UK is of course blessed by many excellent hydrologists but they have for a couple of centuries had one tincy blind spot concerning all those reading this blog. No mention of the P word.

For there is indeed no mention of small freshwaters – still or running – in the hydrological report.

It certainly looks as though in this part of the world some ponds and small streams have dried out early; others seems to be sailing on just as normal. So is it an unusual year for ponds? We don’t really know.

It would be quite unjust, though, to remain on a note in any way critical of the Centre for Hydrology because the researchers working there have, over the years, been some of the most important advocates for advancing understanding of ponds.

Because it is CEH who organise the Countryside Survey which provides vital data on the condition of UK ponds. Pond Conservation works closely together with CEH on this project, and it is impossible to overstate its importance to us from the point of view of our research, campaigning and lobbying.

I noticed one other interesting snippet in the April hydrological report: “Historical rainfall figures indicate a tendency for dry spring periods to be followed by above average summer rainfall“. Oh dear: is that the forecast for a less than barbecue summer?


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