Went round Burrator Reservoir on the bike today. It’s one of our main water sources. And in November – traditionally the wettest time of year – it should be pretty full. But it isn’t. Instead, the water level is startlingly low.
We still think of this as a wet year, after about 6-7 weeks of exceptionally high rainfall in June and July. But the past three months have been back to something more normal: predominantly dry, with occasional wet days. Still, nothing unusual, except that it should be relatively dry in peak wet season.
That leads me to suspect that the underlying cause may be more one of demand than supply. People are using more water than ever before. That’s worrying. It’s a trend that’s not going to reverse with variations in the weather, but is going in one direction only. And after a season when noone had to water their gardens or irrigate their farms through the summer.
One more reason to emigrate?
Postscript: googling for a nice link to Burrator Reservoir, I found these photos from November 2003, a very dry year. The photographer notes that the water was exceptionally low. It’s a little higher today, but not much. Other photos, such as this panorama from December 2000, show it at more normal levels.