The Southeast’s biggest reservoir, Bewl Water at Lamberhurst, which normally holds over 31 billion litres of water and supplies both Southern Water and South East Water customers, is at just 64 per cent capacity.
Kent and Sussex water provider South East Water (SEW) stores about 70 per cent of its water as groundwater but is still reliant on reservoirs such as Bewl.
As demonstrated by the startling front page image in this week’s Times, Bewl Water is currently at levels far lower than the average of about 80 per cent full for this time of year.
Andrew Daniells, Bewl Water Director, told the Times that while water levels are lower than normal, it hasn’t affected the visitor attractions at the beauty spot.
He said: “Although the water level at Bewl Water reservoir is currently 60 per cent, this hasn’t affected the water-based activities enjoyed by our many visitors.
“Once the water level reaches around 45 per cent we will need to extend the slipways so our sailors can continue launching their dinghies, but I don’t envisage having to do this until late September at the earliest.
“There is however the real hazard of deep mud along the water’s edge, exposed as the reservoir water levels drop, so I would ask all visitors to keep to the paths and don’t attempt to shortcut across any of the dried-out creeks and inlets.”
Other reservoirs such as Arlington near Eastbourne, and Ardingly, east of Crowborough, store up to 8.3 billion litres of water and provide 8 per cent of SEW’s water.
As of August 1, Ardingly was at 46.3 per cent and Arlington at 60.6 per cent of capacity.
Bewl Water reservoir near Lamberhurst pictured in May 2021 (below) and last week (above)