Low reservoir water levels in the Suffolk Sandlings

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Much of East Anglia has a climate with rainfall as low as north Africa. In the part where I live in the Suffolk Sandlings – so named because of the sandy soil (soil which is highly porous) – there is little surface water, just a few small spring fed streams draining from heathland into the river estuaries. Farming has relied on groundwater abstraction from the chalk aquifer but there are strict limits set on how much can be drawn from this source. As an alternative, in recent years, large surface reservoirs have been built to provide water for crop irrigation. With no rain since May the photo shows just how low the water level has fallen in this reservoir on the Sutton Hall estate – too low to be drawn off. A thunderstorm is forecast later today, the hottest day of the year with temperatures of 35 C. As you can see the rain is much needed.

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