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Last year was fourth wettest in Life area
2:04pm Monday 7th January 2013 in News
Water chiefs in East Surrey have hailed last year as the fourth wettest in the Life area after it ended with what they called a “deluge.”
Sutton and East Surrey Water said although 2012 has been acknowledged by the Met Office as ‘the second wettest year on record’ in the UK, it only ranked as fourth wettest locally.
And the company pointed out that that ranking came despite the heavens opening in December.
A Sutton and East Surrey Water spokesman said that both October and November were wetter than average.
But he said: “Then December ended a very damp 2012 with a rainfall deluge totalling 141mm or 5.6in - more than 70% above the long-term average of 82mm or 3.3in.”
He continued: “It simply highlights the unpredictability and variation of rainfall patterns across the UK.”
He said: “2012 was the wettest year ever in England, but only the 40th wettest in Northern Ireland. “Northern Scotland was considerably drier than average.”
He added: “On average, the South-east gets considerably less rain than the rest of the UK.”
Nationally, the Met Office reported total rainfall for the UK during 2012 at 1,330mm or 52in.
Sutton and East Surrey Water monitoring recorded a total local rainfall of only 1,033mm, or 40in for 2012.
That is more than 22% less than the UK total.
Noticeably, all four of Sutton and East Surrey’s ‘wettest ever years’ are well below The Met Office’s UK figures.
The company's records show that the wettest year locally was 2000, with an annual rainfall figure of 1,149mm.
The second, third and fourth wettest years were 1951, 1927 and 2012, with rainfall totals of 1051mm, 1046mm and 1033mm respectively.
These compare with the UK's wettest year figures which were for the years 2000, 2012, 1954 and 2008, with totals of 1,337mm, 1,330mm, 1,309mm and 1,295mm respectively.
Sutton and East Surrey Water operations director Mike Hegarty, said: “We have to accept that we live in a drier than average area of the UK, which is one of the reasons why we are more prone to drought concerns than other regions.”
Mr Hegarty said: “Although we had a very wet latter part of 2012, it is worth recalling that we had water-use restrictions in place only last spring.”
He added: “Fortunately, last year’s over-all rainfall in the company’s supply area – with April to July being the wettest four months ever recorded by us for that time of year – has now significantly replenished our underground resources and our reservoir is now 100% full.” Sutton and East Surrey Water supplies water to more than 655,000 people in East Surrey and parts of West Sussex, West Kent and South London. Groundwater supplies provide 85% of its water, with 15% being extracted from its main surface reservoir at Bough Beech, near Edenbridge, Kent.