The Continuing Drought in West Devon

It became clear last week that South West Water (SWW) won’t be lifting the current hosepipe ban here in West Devon for quite some time. As a result of a process that began on August 1st, the hosepipe ban in Cornwall will be lifted on September 25th, 8 weeks later.

South West Water’s next decision point for the Roadford Water Resource Zone is later this week, on September 1st. SWW haven’t released a set of reservoir water level graphs for the week ending August 27th yet. However they have published this summary infographic today:

Here are some pictures we took earlier this week at Roadford Lake, showing what the current water level of 55% looks like in reality:

Comparing this week’s water level with last week’s graph it is clear that the “Decision point for TUB removal” on September 1st is well below the current level:

As discussed in a previous article, an alternative view of the significance of the water level in Roadford Lake looks like this:

The current “reservoir storage” in Roadford is now clearly “above or approaching Level 1 trigger curves”. All other parameters affecting the removal of the temporary use ban in West Devon seem to be satisfied. Is it therefore reasonable to assume that South West Water will lift the long lasting hosepipe ban towards the end of October?

Whilst we all wait to find out the answer to that question, here are a few more photographs from the exposed bed of Roadford Lake:

[Edit – September 7th]

After missing a week South West Water have updated their reservoir water level graphs up to September 3rd. Here’s Roadford Lake:

The current net storage is clearly above the September 1st trigger level, but South West Water remain non committal about a date for removing the current hosepipe ban:

Here too are the graphs for Burrator Reservoir near Plymouth:

plus Colliford Lake in Cornwall:

All in all it’s hard to fathom what South West Water and/or the Environment Agency are waiting for.

To be continued…

Jim Hunt

I've been programming computers since the late 60s. In those days they didn't have computers in schools, so we had to build our own. What can I program next? Will I have to build it first?

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