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  the Bow Bridge Pumping Station was not used for nearly three years due to fears of possible contamination of the water table  from the firefighting chemicals following the incident. This certainly helped maintain the flow in the Ver in the next few summers. Friars Wash Pumping Station has been on stand-by status since 1992 (as a result of pressure by Ver Valley Society) but has been  used in some dry summers.

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. Following prolonged dry weather the aquifer continued to fall so that in April 2012   was 7.82 below average which was followed by summer floods! By the end of 2012 was just above average once again having risen by about 9 metres in the year. In early 2013 the aquifer was the highest it had been for for at least 10 years. 

Subsequently aquifer again fell well below average due to the dry winter of 2014/15 followed by a dry, warm spring, summer and autumn. Both winters of 2017/18 were drier than average with a very hot dry summer in 2018 so by April 2019 the aquifer was exceptionally low at 7.78 below average i.e almost as low as 2012. However again the extreme low was followed by much rain through the autumn and winter of 2019/20. Summer and autumn of 2020 had more rain than usual and winter of 2020/21 was very wet floods. By early the aquifer was 7.18 metres above average which is near the 20 year record high. This may well be exceeded in the next couple of months due to the 2 or 3 month time lag before rainfall is reflected in the aquifer.

As a general measure of the aquifer situation Ver Valley Society 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

                      

Month 2021 Actual Aquifer (Metres) Average Aquifer (Metres) Difference Aquifer (Metres)
January 134.76 131.36 +5.4
February 138.98 132.38 +6.6
March 139.90 132.79 +7.1
April 140.00 133.60 +6.4
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Month 2020 Actual Aquifer (Metres) Average Aquifer (Metres) Difference Aquifer (Metres)
January 127.95 131.36 -3.41
February 132.05 132.38 -0.33
March 135.91 132.79 +3.12
April 137.10 133.60 +3.50
May 136.71 133.10 +3.61
June 135.34 133.32 +2.04
July 133.90 133.23 +0.67
August 132.33 132.56 -0.77
September 131.10 130.87 +0.23
October 129.98 130.93 -0.95
November 131.36 130.91 +0.45
December 132.51 130.56 +1.95
                      

Month 2019 Actual Aquifer (Metres) Average Aquifer (Metres) Difference Aquifer (Metres)
January 125.74 131.36 -5.62
February 125.69 132.38 -6.69
March 125.58 132.79 -7.21
April 125.82 133.60 -7.78
May 126.00 134.10 -8.10
June 126.06 133.32 -7.26
July 125.76 133.23 -7.47
August 125.45 132.56 -7.11
September 125.08 130.87 -5.79
October 125.13 130.93 –5.80
November 125.77 130.91 -5.14
December 125.7 130.56 -4.86
                      

Month 2018 Actual Aquifer (Metres) Average Aquifer (Metres) Difference Aquifer (Metres)
January 125.45 131.36 -5.91
February 125.84 132.38 -6.54
March 126.80 132.79 -5.99
April 128.63 133.60 -4.97
May 130.50 134.10 -3.60
June 130.69 133.32 -2.63
July 130.52 133.23 -2.71
August 129.77 132.56 -2.79
September 128.66 130.87 -2.21
October 127.70 130.93 -3.23
November 127.01 130.91 -3.90
December 126.10 130.56 -4.46
                      

Month 2017 Actual Aquifer (Metres) Average Aquifer (Metres) Difference Aquifer (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 125.43 130.93 -5.50
November 125.10 130.91 -5.81
December 124.87 130.56 -5.69
                      

Month 2016 Actual Aquifer (Metres) Average Aquifer (Metres) Difference Aquifer (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
                      

Month 2015 Actual Aquifer (Metres) Average Aquifer (Metres) Difference Aquifer (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
                      

Month 2014 Actual Aquifer (Metres) Average Aquifer (Metres) Difference Aquifer (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
                      

Month 2013 Actual Aquifer (Metres) Average Aquifer (Metres) Difference Aquifer (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
                      

Month 2012 Actual Aquifer (Metres) Average Aquifer (Metres) Difference Aquifer (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
                      

Month 2011 Actual Aquifer (Metres) Average Aquifer (Metres) Difference Aquifer (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
                      

Month 2010 Actual Aquifer (Metres) Average Aquifer (Metres) Difference Aquifer (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 129.45 130.90 -1.45
December 128.68 130.45 -1.77
                      

Month 2009 Actual Aquifer (Metres) Average Aquifer (Metres) Difference Aquifer (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
                      

Month 2008 Actual Aquifer (Metres) Average Aquifer (Metres) Difference Aquifer (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
                      

Month 2007 Actual Aquifer (Metres) Average Aquifer (Metres) Difference Aquifer (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
                      

Month 2006 Actual Aquifer (Metres) Average Aquifer (Metres) Difference Aquifer (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
                      

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

Month 2004 Actual Aquifer (Metres) Average Aquifer (Metres) Difference Aquifer (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