Long way off end to hosepipe ban in spite of rain

Bicester Advertiser: A county council truck has to be helped out after becoming stranded in Denchworth Road, West Hanney, yesterday A county council truck has to be helped out after becoming stranded in Denchworth Road, West Hanney, yesterday

OXFORDSHIRE still needs five times the drenching it had in April to end the hosepipe ban.

Thames Water bosses last night said there had been 119mm of rain since the ban came in – but experts say that’s only 16.5 per cent, or about one sixth, of the deficit caused by the dry conditions.

Although 119mm equals 28.5 per cent of the deficit, Thames Water bosses calculate that it only accounts for 16.5 per cent because water is still being supplied to customers.

It came as flash flooding affected a number of roads in the county, including Denchworth Road through West Hanney, near Wantage, which was under water after Childrey Brook burst its banks.

West Hanney parish council chairman Chris Surman said: “The road is closed and drivers heading to Denchworth are having to go back into Wantage to take the long way round.”

And more heavy rain was expected last night with the Met Office forecasting further downpours until Friday.

Thames Water spokesman Simon Evans said it was impossible to calculate at this stage how many more months of heavy rain would be needed for the total remaining deficit of 298mm to be cleared.

But he added that the hosepipe ban, introduced on April 1 because of the drought, would be lifted once the deficit was completely cleared.

He said: “It’s very difficult to calculate how long it might take to clear the deficit at this stage because rain over the summer is used up by the plants and does not help us as much as winter rain.

“April’s rain has cleared the shortfall for March and most of February. It took two years to get into the drought so it will take more than one wet month to get out of it.

“But once rainfall completely wipes out the deficit then there’ll be no need for the hosepipe ban and itwill be lifted. We wouldn’t keep one on if we didn’t have to.

“But what we need is solid winter rainfall, the kind that soaks into the ground and tops up the all-important groundwater, which charges the flows in rivers across our region throughout the year.”

Keen gardener Betty Fletcher, of Stockleys Road, Northway, Oxford, a regular in the Oxford in Bloom competition, said: “We are collecting rain in the water butts but there is only so much you can collect like that and it would be nice if the hosepipe ban was lifted at some point.

“It’s been hard for me to get out into the garden recently because of the heavy rain and I will need to clear some space for my bedding plants at the end of May.”

Yesterday there were flood alerts on the Thames from the Gloucestershire border to King’s Lock, on the Cherwell from Cropredy to Oxford, on the Evenlode and Glyme in West Oxfordshire, on the Ock in the Vale, on Letcombe Brook in Wantage and Grove, on Chalgrove Brook, on the River Thame, and on the Ray near Bicester.

Environment Agency spokesman Jo Slimin said: “Heavy rain has meant flash flooding on the roads and some rivers are coming out of their banks. So far, Oxfordshire has escaped any serious flooding but more heavy downpours are being forecast and we are watching river levels very carefully.”

The situation was so bad in West Hanney an Oxford County Council truck had to be towed out of floodwater in Denchworth Road after becoming stuck as council staff attempted to place road closure signs.

* The hosepipe ban was introduced after the driest two years on record. Last month looks set to be the third wettest April on record for Oxfordshire, beaten only by 1998 and 2000. The average rainfall for April is about 75mm.

Comments (8)

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11:54am Tue 1 May 12

FarmerG says...

Central government really needs to tackle the conflict between drainage to prevent flooding and the need to supply water to a growing population. This needs investment in strategy and infrastructure on a level not seen since Victorian times. Go for it DC! It might even solve some of our economic and employment problems.
Central government really needs to tackle the conflict between drainage to prevent flooding and the need to supply water to a growing population. This needs investment in strategy and infrastructure on a level not seen since Victorian times. Go for it DC! It might even solve some of our economic and employment problems. FarmerG

12:20pm Tue 1 May 12

mandate says...

Well said farmer G. British governments are traditionally hopeless in thinking and planning for the long term.

Short term profit and greed has always been the mantra of Conservative governments.

Hopefully 'Alright Jack' will finally be laid to rest, and a sharing and caring community will take his place.
Well said farmer G. British governments are traditionally hopeless in thinking and planning for the long term. Short term profit and greed has always been the mantra of Conservative governments. Hopefully 'Alright Jack' will finally be laid to rest, and a sharing and caring community will take his place. mandate

1:25pm Tue 1 May 12

simplicissimus says...

Is England a developing country? Not yet. A dry one? No.

There can be NO EXCUSE AT ALL for successive UK governments and water companies since 1976 not having built sufficient reservoirs, constructed a national water grid, and fixed existing leaks of long standing.

The last failure is Thames Water's greatest failing. Too much is wasted in leaks. The only "leeks" (!) being seriously hit this year (and any other where hosepipe bans get inflicted on the public by a tiny band of inepts) are keen gardeners' and growers'.

These water company senior managers need to be removed for abject failure, and preferably to be replaced (where essential) at 1/3 their current pay and perks. They're not providing proper sevice, or VFM.

Start by sacking the CEOs of every company that is wasting money on ads, commercials and PR campaigns in this, 1 of the wettest springs overall in over a century, and adding insult to injury. Not only are they an insult to those with homes and lives disrupted by floods, but everyone who is suffering from this PREPOSTEROUS hosepipe ban is being insulted.
Is England a developing country? Not yet. A dry one? No. There can be NO EXCUSE AT ALL for successive UK governments and water companies since 1976 not having built sufficient reservoirs, constructed a national water grid, and fixed existing leaks of long standing. The last failure is Thames Water's greatest failing. Too much is wasted in leaks. The only "leeks" (!) being seriously hit this year (and any other where hosepipe bans get inflicted on the public by a tiny band of inepts) are keen gardeners' and growers'. These water company senior managers need to be removed for abject failure, and preferably to be replaced (where essential) at 1/3 their current pay and perks. They're not providing proper sevice, or VFM. Start by sacking the CEOs of every company that is wasting money on ads, commercials and PR campaigns in this, 1 of the wettest springs overall in over a century, and adding insult to injury. Not only are they an insult to those with homes and lives disrupted by floods, but everyone who is suffering from this PREPOSTEROUS hosepipe ban is being insulted. simplicissimus

1:53pm Tue 1 May 12

gnash21 says...

Maybe if Thames Water fixed all the leaks they have that wastes 80 per cent of the deficit then we wouldn't be in this mess. People in B&Q were watering the hanging baskets outside the shop with a hose while it was raining! How does that work!
Maybe if Thames Water fixed all the leaks they have that wastes 80 per cent of the deficit then we wouldn't be in this mess. People in B&Q were watering the hanging baskets outside the shop with a hose while it was raining! How does that work! gnash21

4:28pm Tue 1 May 12

eatmygoal says...

simplicissimus wrote:
Is England a developing country? Not yet. A dry one? No.

There can be NO EXCUSE AT ALL for successive UK governments and water companies since 1976 not having built sufficient reservoirs, constructed a national water grid, and fixed existing leaks of long standing.

The last failure is Thames Water's greatest failing. Too much is wasted in leaks. The only "leeks" (!) being seriously hit this year (and any other where hosepipe bans get inflicted on the public by a tiny band of inepts) are keen gardeners' and growers'.

These water company senior managers need to be removed for abject failure, and preferably to be replaced (where essential) at 1/3 their current pay and perks. They're not providing proper sevice, or VFM.

Start by sacking the CEOs of every company that is wasting money on ads, commercials and PR campaigns in this, 1 of the wettest springs overall in over a century, and adding insult to injury. Not only are they an insult to those with homes and lives disrupted by floods, but everyone who is suffering from this PREPOSTEROUS hosepipe ban is being insulted.
Very well said.

It is time the water companies took responsibility and changed the ways they collect water. Enough falls out of the sky in this country to easily meet our needs. Water companies would rather just cream off huge profits, sit back and whine about how the water falls too inconveniently for them to capture! They need to change their ways. Now.
[quote][p][bold]simplicissimus[/bold] wrote: Is England a developing country? Not yet. A dry one? No. There can be NO EXCUSE AT ALL for successive UK governments and water companies since 1976 not having built sufficient reservoirs, constructed a national water grid, and fixed existing leaks of long standing. The last failure is Thames Water's greatest failing. Too much is wasted in leaks. The only "leeks" (!) being seriously hit this year (and any other where hosepipe bans get inflicted on the public by a tiny band of inepts) are keen gardeners' and growers'. These water company senior managers need to be removed for abject failure, and preferably to be replaced (where essential) at 1/3 their current pay and perks. They're not providing proper sevice, or VFM. Start by sacking the CEOs of every company that is wasting money on ads, commercials and PR campaigns in this, 1 of the wettest springs overall in over a century, and adding insult to injury. Not only are they an insult to those with homes and lives disrupted by floods, but everyone who is suffering from this PREPOSTEROUS hosepipe ban is being insulted.[/p][/quote]Very well said. It is time the water companies took responsibility and changed the ways they collect water. Enough falls out of the sky in this country to easily meet our needs. Water companies would rather just cream off huge profits, sit back and whine about how the water falls too inconveniently for them to capture! They need to change their ways. Now. eatmygoal

6:09pm Tue 1 May 12

simplicissimus says...

In France all major new roads have long been built with effective drainage channels on the sides and/or between carriageways. These are SWEPT and kept clear. So are French drains. (Compare our shoddy maintenance, despite higher taxation.)

The precipitation run-off channels into numerous vast collection pools and tanks underneath or beside the roads, and in dry weather, water is pumped or siphoned off to water crops, &c.

VERY rarely do French main roads flood. Never do they abuse hosepipe impositions, as is happening again in the UK.

Ours is a matter of poor leadership and bad management.
In France all major new roads have long been built with effective drainage channels on the sides and/or between carriageways. These are SWEPT and kept clear. So are French drains. (Compare our shoddy maintenance, despite higher taxation.) The precipitation run-off channels into numerous vast collection pools and tanks underneath or beside the roads, and in dry weather, water is pumped or siphoned off to water crops, &c. VERY rarely do French main roads flood. Never do they abuse hosepipe impositions, as is happening again in the UK. Ours is a matter of poor leadership and bad management. simplicissimus

7:43pm Tue 1 May 12

caz1111 says...

At present that suits me. Who needs a hopsepipe plus I'm not paying for it!
At present that suits me. Who needs a hopsepipe plus I'm not paying for it! caz1111

10:39pm Tue 1 May 12

Severian says...

mandate wrote:
Well said farmer G. British governments are traditionally hopeless in thinking and planning for the long term.

Short term profit and greed has always been the mantra of Conservative governments.

Hopefully 'Alright Jack' will finally be laid to rest, and a sharing and caring community will take his place.
Well we had 13 years of a Labour government and they were absolutely no different to the Tories. I saw no sign of TB or GB rushing to make sure the water companies made better provision for the dry years.
In fact TB was more than happy to cosy up to multi billionaires when it suited him.
ALL politicians have short sight and can't give a stuff for long term planning - all they care about is the next election, and the country can go hang.
[quote][p][bold]mandate[/bold] wrote: Well said farmer G. British governments are traditionally hopeless in thinking and planning for the long term. Short term profit and greed has always been the mantra of Conservative governments. Hopefully 'Alright Jack' will finally be laid to rest, and a sharing and caring community will take his place.[/p][/quote]Well we had 13 years of a Labour government and they were absolutely no different to the Tories. I saw no sign of TB or GB rushing to make sure the water companies made better provision for the dry years. In fact TB was more than happy to cosy up to multi billionaires when it suited him. ALL politicians have short sight and can't give a stuff for long term planning - all they care about is the next election, and the country can go hang. Severian

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