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Groundwater levels

Central Region

 

Central region water levels hydrograph

*The long term average (LTA) has been calculated statistically, using the long term data record for this hydrograph. The respective drought zones are used as operational triggers, and have been derived using the LTA.

 

Rainfall in February was 210% of LTA in Central region, reflecting wet conditions across the country. In some areas of the UK, this was n confirmed as the wettest February on record. Effective precipitation for the month was 239% of LTA. This has led to groundwater levels continuing to increase across Central region at a steeper rate than the LTA, and at our key indicator borehole they are now above the LTA (see graph above). This is the first time that groundwater levels in the region have been above average since July 2016. Soil moisture deficit (SMD) remains very low, which promotes the continued contribution of rainfall to aquifer recharge (effective precipitation).

It is likely that groundwater levels will continue to recover due to low SMD and the antecedent rainfall. Levels are forecast to remain above the LTA throughout the seasonal recession period with average or above average rainfall. Under a very low rainfall scenario (60% of LTA) groundwater levels could dip below the LTA later in the summer, but are unlikely to return to drought zone 1 before the autumn this year.

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