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May 3, 2018
Category: Abstraction
Posted by: Kathryn

With an ever-growing demand for drinking water and increasingly extreme weather events, how do we get the water we need without causing even more harm to our rivers?

May 2, 2018
Category: Drought
Posted by: Kathryn

Our riverfly monitors are back out in the centre of Chesham checking for life in the Chess now that flow has returned.

Mar 24, 2018
Category: HS2
Posted by: Kathryn

A public meeting with HS2 and the Environment Agency looked at the risks posed by tunnelling to the groundwater and rivers of the Chess and Misbourne Valleys.

Dec 31, 2017
Category: Conservation
Posted by: Kathryn

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

Latest News

A Dry May for the Chess

Jun 18, 2011

Category: Rainfall & River Levels
Posted by: Kathryn

The Chess at Blackwell FarmThe Chilterns-East-Colne area, which includes the Chess catchment, had little rainfall during March, April or May. May had a number of heavy rainfall events which upped the recorded rainfall compared to April, but was still only 47% of May's Long Term Average (LTA).

The generally dry weather and warm temperatures increased the Soil Moisture Deficit (SMD) to 89 mm in this area compared to the LTA of 56 mm. However, we faired better than our neighbours; the Chilterns-East-Colne was the only part of the North East Thames Area to receive any effective rainfall (rainfall that contributes to groundwater levels) getting 2 mm, compared to the LTA of 8 mm. However, the groundwater levels recorded at Ashley Green monitoring station were below normal for the time of year. As recharge normally ends in May, groundwater levels are now not expected to rise significantly until winter.  

As a result, the flow of the Chess continued to decline in May and its source migrated further downstream.

For the summer period (which starts on 1st April in the water year) only 32% of LTA rainfall was received, which equated to 8% of LTA effective rainfall. These sorts of figures could indicate that the Chess may dry up in Chesham later in the year.