Aquifer

Affinity Water is licensed by the Environment Agency to abstract tens of millions of litres of water per day from the Ver aquifer by pumping from deep underground using several pumping stations along the length of the Valley. However in April 2016 Affinity Water took the pumping station at Bow Bridge off line, consequently reducing abstraction buy about 6 Ml/day. Further reductions are planned by 2025.

Following the Buncefield Oil Depot disaster in December 2005 some pollution of the water table meant the Bow Bridge Pumping Station was not used for nearly three years. Friars Wash Pumping Station has been on stand-by status since 1992 (as a result of pressure by VVS) but was used in the summer of 2006 in the drought.

Bow Bridge remained out of use from 2006 to August 2009 due to fears of contamination from the Buncefield firefighting chemicals following the incident. This certainly helped maintain the flow in the Ver in the next few summers. The aquifer was at or above average for much of 2008 and into 2009 but fell below average later in 2009. Following prolonged dry weather the aquifer continued to fall so that by the early months of 2012 it was over 7 metres below average, the worst it had been for over 5 years.

In general the aquifer is only recharged in the winter months as in summer rainfall is used up by vegetation growth and evaporation in the warmer months. Record rainfall in 2012 meant there was a most unusual rise in the aquifer throughout that summer and by the end of 2012 the aquifer was above well average once again; the level rose by about 9 metres in the year. In early 2013 the aquifer was the highest it had been for at least 10 years. Subsequently the aquifer again fell to well below average due to the dry winter of 2014/2015 followed by a dry, warm spring, summer and autumn. By the end of 2015 the aquifer was nearly 5 meters below average but some rain in early 2016 allowed the aquifer to improve slightly but in the summer it was still about 3 meters below the norm. However wth low rainfall the aquifer has remained at a low level throughout 2017.

As a general measure of the aquifer situation VVS uses groundwater figures measured by Environment Agency at Ballingdon Farm in the upper part of the valley. Recent figures in metres are given below.

 

Contains Environment Agency information © Environment Agency and database right

 


Aquifer Levels 2017

 

Month 2017 Actual Average Difference
  Aquifer (metres) Aquifer (metres) (metres)
January 126.02 131.36 -5.34
February 126.07 132.38 -6.31
March 126.62 132.79 -6.17
April 126.62 132.79 -6.17
May 127.09 133.60 -6.51
June 127.02 133.32 -6.30
July 126.08 133.23 -7.15
August 125.92 132.56 -6.64
September 125.77 130.77 -5.00
October     0.00
November     0.00
December     0.00
       

 

 


 

Aquifer Levels 2016

 

Month 2016 Actual Average Difference
  Aquifer (metres) Aquifer (metres) (metres)
January 126.50 131.36 -4.86
February 127.81 132.31 -4.50
March 128.82 132.79 -3.97
April 130.80 133.60 -2.80
May 131.12 134.10 -2.98
June 131.60 133.60 -2.00
July 129.87 133.23 -3.36
August 128.84 132.56 -3.72
September 128.89 130.87 -1.98
October 128.08 130.93 -2.85
November 127.16 130.91 -3.75
December 126.53  130.56  -4.03
       

 

 


 

Aquifer Levels 2015

 

Month 2015 Actual Average Difference
  Aquifer (metres) Aquifer (metres) (metres)
January 129.12 132.36 -3.24
February 129.40 132.36 -2.96
March 130.71 134.17 -3.46
April 130.60 133.56 -2.96
May 129.40 132.38 -2.98
June 130.13 133.32 -3.19
July 129.15 133.23 -4.08
August 128.31 132.56 -4.25
September 127.74 130.87 -3.13
October 127.17 130.93 -3.76
November 126.48 130.91 -4.43
December 126.27 130.56 -4.29

 


Aquifer Levels 2014

 

Month 2014 Actual Average Difference
  Aquifer (metres) Aquifer (metres) (metres)
January 131.60 131.56 0.04
February 136.17 132.38 3.79
March 139.70 132.79 6.91
April 139.61 132.30 7.31
May 138.63 134.10 4.53
June 137.49 133.32 4.17
July 136.29 133.23 3.06
August 134.85 132.56 2.29
September 133.32 130.87 2.45
October 131.98 130.93 0.50
November 130.54 130.91 -0.37
December 129.88 130.56 -0.68

 

 


Aquifer Levels 2013

 

Month 2013 Actual Average Difference
  Aquifer (metres) Aquifer (metres) (metres)
January 134.72 131.36 3.36
February 137.20 132.38 4.82
March 137.97 132.79 5.18
April 138.08 133.60 4.48
May 137.55 134.10 3.45
June 136.61 133.32 3.29
July 135.45 133.21 2.24
August 134.06 132.54 1.52
September 132.62 130.87 1.75
October 131.42 129.92 0.50
November 130.36 130.91 -0.55
December 129.18 130.56 -1.38
       

 

 


 

Aquifer Levels 2012

 

Month 2012 Actual Average Difference
  Aquifer (metres) Aquifer (metres) (metres)
January 125.98 131.30 -5.32
February 125.82 132.38 -6.56
March 125.75 132.79 -7.04
April 125.66 133.60 -7.94
May 127.51 134.51 -7.00
June 127.76 133.32 -5.56
July 130.40 134.10 -2.87
August 131.04 132.56 -1.52
September 131.04 130.87 0.17
October 130.55 130.93 0.38
November 130.18 130.91 0.73
December 131.52 130.56 0.96
       

 

 


Aquifer Levels 2011

 

Month 2011
Actual Average Difference
  Aquifer (metres) Aquifer (metres) (metres)
January
128.00 130.56 -2.56
February
128.86 131.36 -2.50
March
129.82 132.79 -2.97
April
130.84 133.60 -2.76
May
131.01 134.10 -3.09
June
130.45 133.32 -2.87
July
129.36 133.23 -3.87
August
128.27 132.56 -4.29
September
127.71 130.87 -3.16
October
127.23 130.93 -3.70
November
126.71 130.91 -4.20
December
125.26 130.56 -5.30
       

Aquifer Levels 2010

 

Month 2010
Actual Average Difference
Aquifer (metres) Aquifer (metres) (metres)
January
128.49 130.92 -2.43
February
129.04 131.60 -2.56
March
131.94 132.38 -0.44
April
135.52 133.60 1.92
May
135.70 134.10 1.60
June
134.97 133.32 1.65
July
131.99 133.25 -1.26
August
132.51 132.56 -0.05
September
131.59 130.87

0.72

October
130.49 130.93 -0.44
November
129.45 130.9

-1.45

December
128.68 130.45 -1.77
   

Aquifer Levels 2009

 

Month 2009
Actual Average Difference
Aquifer (metres) Aquifer (metres) (metres)
January
133.10 131.36 1.74
February
134.62 132.38 2.24
March
136.57 132.79 3.78
April
136.64 133.60 3.04
May
135.85 134.10 1.75
June
134.61 133.30 1.31
July
131.57 133.22 -1.65
August
132.30 132.56 -0.26
September
131.24 130.87 0.37
October
130.09 130.93 -0.84
November
128.80 130.91 -2.11
December
128.24 130.50 -2.26
   

Aquifer Levels 2008

 

Month 2008
Actual Average Difference
Aquifer (metres) Aquifer (metres) (metres)
January
131.26 131.36 -0.10
February
134.22 132.38 1.84
March
134.90 132.79 2.11
April
135.53 133.60 1.93
May
134.84 134.10 0.74
June
134.52 133.32 1.20
July
133.88 133.23 0.65
August
133.07 132.56 0.51
September
132.29 130.87 1.42
October
131.60 130.91 0.69
November
131.40 130.90 0.50
December
131.62 130.56 1.06
   

Aquifer Levels 2007

 

Month 2007
Actual Average Difference
Aquifer (metres) Aquifer (metres) (metres)
January
128.94 131.36 -2.42
February
132.60 132.38 0.22
March
135.67 132.79 2.88
April
136.26 133.60 2.66
May
135.60 134.10 1.50
June
134.79 133.32 1.47
July
133.78 133.23 0.55
August
132.83 132.56 0.27
September
131.82 130.83 0.99
October
131.40 130.87 0.53
November
130.90 130.91 -0.01
December
130.66 130.56 0.10
   

Aquifer Levels 2006

 

Month 2006
Actual Average Difference
 
Aquifer (metres) Aquifer (metres) (metres)
 
     
January
126.09 131.36 -5.27
February
126.03 132.38 -6.35
March
126.63 132.79 -6.16
April
126.63 133.60 -6.97
May
126.70 134.10 -7.40
June
126.71 133.32 -6.61
July
126.77 133.23 -6.46
August
126.45 132.56 -6.11
September
125.81 130.87 -5.06
October
125.49 130.93 -5.44
November
125.34 130.91 -5.57
December
126.47 130.56 -4.09
       

 


Aquifer Levels 2005

 

Month 2005
Actual Average Difference
 
Aquifer (metres) Aquifer (metres) (metres)
 
     
December
126.15 130.56 -4.41
November
126.15 130.91 -4.76
October
126.17 130.93 -4.76
September
126.17 130.87 -4.70
August
126.68 132.56 -5.88
July
127.24 133.23 -5.99
June
127.93 133.32 -5.39
May
127.76 134.10 -6.34
April
127.27 133.60 -6.33
March
127.77 132.79 -5.02
February
127.25 132.38 -5.13
January
128.15 131.36 -3.21
       

 

Aquifer Levels 2004

 

Month 2004
Actual Average Difference
 
Aquifer (metres) Aquifer (metres) (metres)
 
     
January
128.30 131.36 -3.06
February
129.50 132.38 -2.88
March
131.42 132.79 -1.37
April
131.30 133.60 -2.30
May
131.09 134.10 -3.01
June
131.09 133.32 -2.23
July
130.85 133.23 -2.38
August
130.04 132.56 -2.52
September
127.97 130.87 -2.90
October
127.58 130.93 -3.35
November
127.43 130.91 -3.48
December
127.25 130.56 -3.31
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.. © River Ver 2011