More news...

Dec 31, 2017
Category: Conservation
Posted by: Kathryn

Restoration works to a tributary of the Chess are planned for early 2018.

Nov 21, 2017
Category: Abstraction
Posted by: Kathryn

River Chess groundwater levels at record lows, a dry river in Chesham for a year, but no water restrictions from Affinity Water.

Sep 18, 2017
Category: General
Posted by: Kathryn

A public River Chess forum will take place in support of the World Wildlife Fund's 'Nature Needs You' campaign.

Jul 12, 2017
Category: Drought
Posted by: Kathryn

With groundwater levels now exceptionally low, the river in Chesham is dry as far as Lord's Mill, Waterside.

Latest News

Recharge Gets Going

Feb 9, 2011

Category: Rainfall & River Levels
Posted by: Kathryn

The Chess at RickmansworthThe latest Water Situation Report produced by the Environment Agency shows that January was a good month for water levels in the Chess. While the month started and ended relatively dry, the wet middle weeks meant that the Colne catchment (the area including the Chess) had 120% of the long term average (LTA) rainfall for the month and 125% of the LTA effective rainfall. Effective rainfall is that which percolates through the soils to contribute to groundwater and ultimately feed into the river.

The groundwater levels are routinely recorded at Ashley Green and by the beginning of January levels had declined below normal for the time of year. However, by the end of the month with recharge beginning, levels had recovered back into the normal range. Although levels are increasing, the rate of recovery may be slow due to the drier weather experienced at the end of January and the dry conditions that occurred in the preceding months.

Flow in the Chess was recorded as normal, with the exception of the upper reaches in Chesham, which had very little flow. The improving situation can be seen near the Queens Head in old Chesham, where there is now some flow in the channel, compared with an almost dry bed a couple of weeks ago.

However, looking over a longer period, the picture is not quite so rosy. Over the winter period covering the 1st October 2010 to 31st January 2011, there was only 89% of LTA rainfall and 81% LTA effective rainfall. With only two months left of the winter recharge season, and the groundwater levels at Ashley Green being 6 metres below that recorded this time last year, experts are concerned that there could be low flows in the Chess by the end of summer.

To view the full Water Situation Report, visit the Environment Agency's web site.