More news...

Jul 6, 2018
Category: Drought
Posted by: Kathryn

With this hot weather our water use goes up; this leaves less water available for the Chess.

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.

Latest News

Drought 2017

Jul 12, 2017

Category: Drought
Posted by: Kathryn

The Chess at Kitty's Bridge

Above: The Chess at Kitty's Bridge in Chesham taken in July 2017

The river is currently dry as far as Lord's Mill in Chesham and flows further downstream are low. Rainfall has been 'notably low' over the last year, with only 75% of the long-term average falling and futher upstream, at the Queen's Head, the river has been dry since October 2016.

The situation has been worsening, with only 32% of average effective rainfall between 1st April and 30th June 2017. Effective rainfall is that which gets into the aquifer, and that amounts to just 9mm of rain reaching the aquifer over 3 months.

The groundwater levels recorded at Ashley Green in June were 'exceptionally low'. This is the lowest category given by the Environment Agency.

Clearly the impact on river wildlife in Chesham will be severe. Our trained monitors will continue to survey the riverfly populations at sites along the length of the river; it will be interesting to see if they detect population changes during these low flow periods. When water does return to the upper reaches, their monthly monitoring will be a useful tool for assessing the long term impact of this drought on the river's invertebrates.

We would like to urge everyone to drive down the amount of water being taken from the aquifer by using water wisely. For tips, advice and FREE water saving devices, please visit Affinity Water's web site.