02/05/2012 Inside Out South


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 02/05/2012. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!



Hello. Welcome to a special edition of Inside Added. It is all about


the drug. Here is what is coming up. -- of the drought. The truth is we


do not have enough water in our rivers for people to drink.


investigate the true story behind our weather. What drought? It has


not stopped raining for the last few weeks! And what is the plan for


tackling England's water shortage? As far as I am aware, there is no


strategic national plan to deal with three dry winters in a row.


will bring you a full five-day forecast and take a look at the


last two Macromedias' rainfall figures and explaining why we are


still in drought. -- the last two I know what you are thinking - it


has been chucking it down, so what is the problem? It is not what is


happening now, but what did not happen two years ago, and those dry


winters have been having an effect By the beginning of April, the


drought had already had a big impact on wildlife. The RSPB at


Otmoor near Oxford had to abandon most of its wet land preserved and


focus on pumping water to just 40 of its 400 hectares. It meant so


calls of the animals providing food dried out. This should be about 30


centimetres deep. This will do strike out on that will be it.


bad is it? I thought I would put a six-inch nail down for fun. This is


the length of a Snape. I put it into the soil to see what it is


like. Normally, you would be pushing it into the mud. You can


see, as you are pushing in, quite a lot of force has gone in Neville


stop as they feed, they stabbed in and out. You can see how deep that


has gone down. Inside an impressive predator fence, there is far more


activity than in the comparatively tiny part where water has been


pumped. Foxes and badgers are the main predators. From the fields


around us, this is where we have moved water into this area. It is


an instant impact. As soon as we put the pop song, shift the water


over the hill, within about a day, the water comes on here. Everyone


commented on the number of birds that moved into the area. We are


confident we can hold this water for longer in this area. If it is


spread out, it will be very shallow and with the evaporation we have


got, it will disappear quickly. Then at the skies opened and


instead of worrying about drought, the scrapes filled and flooding


threatened to wash nests away. Long term, though, the biggest problem


is with our world famous chalk streams. This is the River Kennet,


a classic English chalk stream. But a lack of rain and continued


abstraction of the water has left levels very low and


conservationists are now seriously concerned about its future. The


Kennet, which runs between Marlborough and Reading, has become


a symbol of the drought. The 10 mile stretch of the canal even had


to be closed this winter because of lack of water. Despite the April


rain, some sections of the Kennet are still flooding at well below


normal levels. Two dry winters are part of the problem but campaigners


point out the river also loses millions of litres of water a day,


taken from a borehole at Axford and piped to homes in Swindon. In a


typical year, this would be a nice flowing river and very often, this


would be flooded across the fields. This part of the chalk landscape


used to rely heavily on flooding the meadows to get the spring grass


growing to put the lamb was on. Chalk Africa water is a good


aquifer source to put into the water soil. -- Africa -- aquifer


water. If we are not careful, we will have drained all the chalk


streams dry. Thames Water says it is waiting for the Environment


Agency to finance an agreed pipeline, which will halve the


amount it takes from the Kennet, which it admits is being damaged.


We have to find a balance and it is not true to say we want to pump as


much water as possible. We want to take as little as possible but we


want to make sure we take as much as our customers need. It is not an


option to just turn the tap off at the Axford a borehole. We have to


work up a long-term sustainable solution and that is exactly what


we are doing. The Orange shows that we are right down and have had


between 30 and 49% of average rainfall. Meanwhile, Charlotte


Hitchmough of Action For The River Kennet has been working with a


local secondary school to raise trout. Today, they are going to be


released into the river. It is one way of showing people the


connection between the water in their homes and the rivers on their


doorstep. I never used to think about it but since we started this


project, it has made me think a lot more about the rain drought. It


shocked to beat and it is more serious than I thought it was.


lot of the water we use in our houses comes from the river, so the


drug means we have to use less. do we check the help of the River?


-- the drought. The organisms living in the river are a good


indicator of good, clean, plentiful water. A good score would be about


12 on the abyss of reach. At the top end of the river, we are


struggling to get as score of one. Some of the strictures have had no


water at all through the winter, so the water has just come back into


those bits of river. On the surface, the river looks fine because it has


water, but when you look around, there is no life. It is not just


this river suffering. Our chalk streams are internationally famous


and the rare and most renowned of all are the rivers Test and Itchen,


which draw of the fishermen from around the world. But this year, on


the legendary Bourne, of more than a mile of fishing has been closed.


This is an ultimate place that the connoisseur comes fishing. It has a


wonderful history and where we are standing now should be not just


wide gravel but there should be big tresses of green tweed. You can see


the water here hardly covers the top of your boots. -- or weed. All


other things that eat fish tend to be trapped in the sections of


deeper water. You will have a little gravel ripple and Ben Eddy


perception and another gravelled ripple. It is very easy for mink,


otters, herons and egrets to catch the fish. It is a good year to be a


heron but a bad year to be a trout. The water that makes these rivers


flow comes from deep under the chalk. It is so pure that you do


not need to treat it before you pied it to the customer. It is the


cheapest water met - backwater it you can get. Water companies want


as much of this water as they can because the cost is low. The truth


is that we do not have enough water in our rivers for people to drink


what comes from underneath them. This is my baby. I have been


looking after it since 1994 and it is like a love affair. It is very


sad when you see it looking so sick. Hampshire has a particular problem.


The River Itchen brought the ball to live in cities like Southampton


and Winchester but with ever- growing populations, but demands on


the river are enormous. -- brought people. There is still a question


of whether water is going to come from. There is always talk of a


national grid of water, bringing water through the canal system. If


we move water from Wales, it will destroy it this terrain. We will


not pull icebergs of the English Channel to supply people. At the


end of the day, we are totally dependent in Hampshire on a chalk


water. We have to share that water between us, people, and the


environment. When you turn on your tap, do you know where your water


has come from? No. What is your best bet? A reservoir somewhere.


idea. I would not like to save. It tastes OK, so I am happy. It comes


from their nearest reservoir. water filtration plant. Ruler has


it it comes from the Dolomites or Spain! The point is that water is a


local and renewable resource, unlike oil or gas, which is


imported from all over the world. If you live in Hampshire, you live


within probably a couple of miles away your water comes from. There


was a question of water companies taking responsibility but also


people. This is my river, and I know that every kettle of water I


Phil is a kettle less in this run of. Multiply that by 400,000 and


that is a lot of water. So, two bone dry printers and we are


contemplating a third. What is going on with our weather?


Meteorologist Nik Miller has travelled the length and breadth of


The Lake District is England's wettest place and looking below,


the word drought is the last thing that comes to mind. It is rain rich


land and the reservoirs with billions of litres of water are


also here. With all of this and on an island where it has not stopped


raining for weeks, how come so much of England is in drought? The Met


Office is now looking into what is behind this apparent change in our


climate. The first place they are looking is the jet stream that


carries bring Baring weather fronts across the Atlantic. The jet stream


has tended to be a bit further north. -- reign at Baring. The part


of England that is so short of rain is running into high pressure. They


are not doing the job we want them to do, which is to add a decent


round to rain and top of that the water levels in the aquifers.


are competing with and 84 water. Everything around us has embarked


on its spring growth. You do not get England's green and pleasant


land without it. But while everything is turning green and you


see the reverse starting to fill, what you do not see in some parts


of the country is even more important. Bat is underground. It


is the water underground, not reservoirs, that supplies 75% of


the most populous parts of England. 150 miles south-east of Windermere,


They are using data to create an underground map of Britain.


areas that are in green, it is running up into Lincolnshire,


Yorkshire, and in the south of Britain, around the South East, it


is a really important aquifer. That gets recharged by rainfall in the


winter. We have had a couple of relatively dry winters. Groundwater


levels have remained normal in the north-west but as you move South


East, they have dropped in volume by one third.


To really find out how low stocks are, last week I joined this team


are doing based survey. This is the South Downs. It is


Wallaby try as part of England. -- it is one of the driest parts of


England. We will find out how far we have to go down to find that


water. The aquifer is effectively a


pressurised sponge, full of water. It was tapped by the Victorians.


The water would normally be about 20 metres below ground level.


This is the exciting bit. How far down? It is looking exciting as


promising. I can see a reflection that we are only at about 30 metres.


Before long, we pass the point where we would normally find water


and the camera keeps descending. You are seeing really dry walls. If


there was any Recharge happening, you would see moisture or, at least


on the camera. Even though it has been pouring


with rain, that rained down here has not made a - any difference yet.


It would take weeks, probably months for it to infiltrate, if it


did. But it is not going to because it will be taken up by the plans --


plants. We are coming up to 34.4. How does it compare with how long


it has been before? This is the 5th or 6th driest in records. It is


pretty low. The last major drought was in 1976.


Now we are saying, save water. People were forced to queue in the


streets to get water. This drought is different. It is


not hot and sunny. It has been pouring with rain and we are being


told we could be in doubt until Christmas.


No one is saying of the rain is not making the difference. Of course it


is. We have one of our wettest Aprils. But it still has not


reached where many of us get our quarter, the aquifers. What the


Victorians started with Welles was an expanded to exploit the natural


resources on a much bigger scale. This aquifer is operated by South


East Water. Kevin, that is the precious water.


How low RB aquifers? It is a very serious situation. The aquifers are


very low. The Rezso was Andy rivers are rivers -- the reservoirs and


rivers are high because of the recent rainfall. It is even worse


than 19 Sunday six will stop yes, I think it is worse than 19 Sunday


six. -- 1976. The level of recharges a third


lower than it should be. It seems we are even further from that


soaking rain that has been falling above ground. Down here, it is


winter rain that matters. If we do not get enough next winter, then we


will all be heading into the What of the future? David has been


seeing how the government's water strategy measures against our


This church has stood in this valley in northern Spain for more


than 500 years. I should not be able to be here because this is the


bottom of a reservoir. It is usually submerged under thousands


of tons of water. The reason it is so dry is Spain is going through


its worst drought for 70 years. Forest fires have been raging in


other parts of the country. Look at the waterline. Look how high you


should be. Look how low it is. That is incredible. Can Spain deceit


limbs into an uncomfortable future? The taps in Barcelona recently


almost ran dry. They were forced to ship in supplies from France.


The residents have had to completely change their attitude


towards water. Is incredible that something as simple as water had to


be transported in tankers into Barcelona. What was that like?


is a first, as far as I know. It never had to be carried through on


a massive scale but before that, there was a sensation that it was


not going to be easy. People would have to have water rations.


have we were adapted your lifestyle? -- you. We took


consciousness of how precious water The children talk about about it a


school. -- talk about it a lot at school. Simple measures, turn off


taps and teaching water conservation in schools, Barcelona


is now well on its way to becoming one of the world's leading cities


on saving water. People use just 107 litres per day. That compares


to 150 in the UK. They have also tried using water


from showers to flush toilets. And recycling the water in it the


famous fountains. They had experienced in Barcelona


forced everyone to change the way they think about water -- that


experience. This place was the answer. They


have built this massive plant. It is the largest in Europe. By taking


sea water from the Mediterranean, the plant can produce 180 million


litres of fresh water every day. But that is still only a 5th of the


city's needs. It is used as a stop gap.


TRANSLATION: The system is much more secure because of this plant


but this is not total security. It allows us time to function between


periods of rain. If there is a drought, the plant can produce more.


After building Europe's first such plant 40 years ago, Spain is now a


world leader in the technology but it is not a perfect solution. The


war to produce year is very expensive and the Barcelona plant


uses enough energy to power a small town -- the water here.


Unlike Spain, this is where we use most of ours, generating a trustee


in power stations. Most of the rest, around 40 %, is used in homes and


gardens. But the trouble is, we used to much. More than any other


developed countries. Is turning salt water into fresh water the


answer? We have one plant near London and that will be important.


I think be likelihood of are seeing more plants in England is quite


high. But you do not want to be relying on it as it is very


expensive and produces a lot of carbon. This is very picturesque.


Water gets moved down. It is -- is it an option for water can best


companies to transfer water from different parts of the country?


Victorians started doing that and it underpins the way that we manage


water resources now. In the future, war -- moving water around even


more, greater connectivity within the country and the networks, it


will be part of the answer but not the entire answer. That is the new


buzz word, connectivity. If someone is generating electricity, you do


not get blackouts another part of the country. Why should we have


drought conditions or a Citroen's in one part of the country and not


about? If you bring water from the north


to the south, you can have droughts in the North of England as well.


You do not want to rely on moving water around the country


exclusively. What is going to happen, if we have a third dry


winter? Difficult to say. But we would be a very bad place.


We have not worked out the consequences. But you would be


expecting measures to try and to serve water, it would be dramatic.


-- conserve water. As far as I am aware, there is no strategic


national plan to deal worth three dry winters in a row. I would like


to be proven wrong. I would like to think we have a plan. I do not know


of one. I think the plan is based on hope that it rains. It is a very


poor strategy. Is there a strategy or not?


Yes, because we have to have contingency plans. Drought is a


natural phenomenon and can-can -- can take place at any time. What we


are putting in place on measures in -- to deal with that. Temporary


restrictions on non-essential uses of water in a domestic setting.


That is something we plan to do in order to conserve water and it


shall we do not have to move to more stringent restrictions. --


ensure. We need to encourage the water companies to reduce leakage


and the government has made that reedy clear. Should targets be more


stringent? It is the economic regulator that


sets these targets. It believes they are a challenge to the


industry to meet. The government is also pushing water companies to do


more to connect up supplies across the country.


When you go to a dry country and you explain to them but in the UK,


we used drinking water for everything, we flush the toilet,


wash clothes, they are sometimes quite surprised by that. Can you


guarantee that if we could a third try winter, we will not have water


rationing? -- dry. It is far too early to tell yet whether we will


have the wet winter of what the -- that we do need. If we have another


dry winter, it becomes more likely that we will have to take action.


It may sound extraordinary but as he had discovered in Spain, the


world is changing. Climate change and an expanding population mean


demand for water is set to increase and even if it does rain this


winter, pretty soon, we will all have to think about drinking water


as the pressures and scarce natural What has been happening closer to


home? We are officially in drought. How


Let's take a look at the rainfall figures for the last couple of


years. Only three months were wetter than average. 19 months were


drier than average. That did not help.


In it the South, in any 12 a month period, the long-term average


suggests we should see 777 mm. But we only received about 557 mm. That


is painfully below average. April was pretty wet everywhere.


The wet as place was England. It was very impressive. It was


around to wonder quarter times what we would normally see in the month


of April. --2.25. This suggests the average rainfall. Anything below


that is below average. You can see quite a few below average. People


was very impressive in terms of rainfall. It was the wettest April


for well over a century but we are still in drought because it was the


driest 18th month -- 18 months period for over 90 years in the


south. There is rain in the forecast. Some


heavily -- heavy and thundery downpours tonight and more on


Saturday, but it is not enough. We need an exceptionally wet winter.


Download Subtitles