LETTER: Tap into huge water resource

The letter from Ben Earl of Southern Water may not cover the whole story of water in the South East.

Thursday, 14th April 2016, 10:00 am
Your letters

We all understand that water will become the new ‘oil’ of the future and will cost us all dear, we also realise the requirement for the management, conservation and supply.

We indeed have a large picture to view in regards to water supply in the South East and this comes to subjects of politics and lack of imagination, investment and infrastructure.

We have all observed that a fair amount of rain has fallen in the past few months and yet we capture very little, most rain runoff disappears down our rivers and out to sea.

We in the Horsham area sit on top of a huge water resource, this being the Tunbridge Well Sands or Green sands .This aquifer reaches from Kent back into Surrey and touches the borders of Hampshire.

This vast aquifer is sitting in main under West Sussex at a depth of 80 to 100ft below your feet. This resource is controlled by the Environment Agency, so the political issue.

Southern Water has little or no access to this underground water supply.

Many years ago I was able to monitor this underground water supply via a borehole, with the correct abstraction licences I may add. In 25 years the height of water in this aquifer never changed through times of drought to those times of heavy rainfall. This area of water is so large and the stratus so diverse the aquifer is able to maintain its level year on year taking water from the chalk downs.

Over the years many companies and institutions used to draw from this supply but now many of these enterprises have ceased trading and no longer tap this resource.

We are constantly informed about the lack of water in the South East and hosepipe bans are required every time the sun shines for more than a couple of weeks.

I would suggest that the water companies and the Environmental Agency ‘fess up’ and tell us the truth as far as water is concerned and no longer be alarmist.

We need to build better catchment infrastructure or indeed build a grid network from North to South to utilise our vast canal networks that will accommodate these needs for requirements of our now growing housing needs, or stop the politics and tap the underground resource.

I would also place a rider on that the water companies should fund these improvements as they have been making profits from us all over the years.


Broome Close, Horsham


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