Our independent columnist worries over the lack of rain – and floods!
Rain . . . you remember, that wet stuff that used to fall from the skies with regularity.
In the winter of 2015/16 it seemed if giving an Ark for Christmas would be the present of choice.
Fast forward 12 months and it was the total opposite with few, if any, alarms about possible flooding of the River Uck.
A dry winter has been followed by an exceptionally dry spring. We had a few sprinkles of rain this week but hardly enough to wet the soil.
The longer-range forecast indicates a lot more dry weather to come, if that can be trusted.
At the moment, no-one is talking about water shortages, or hosepipe bans but they will surely surface if the dry spell turns into a summer drought.
Global warming appears to be bringing about great swings in our weather: one winter terribly wet, the other terribly dry and with nothing in between.
Bearing that in mind leads me back to an idea that had some traction a few years back after the 2000 Uckfield flood but now seems to have been quietly forgotten.
It still seems such a neat solution: hold back the floodwaters of the Uck in times of storm and retain a certain amount in a reservoir(s) to supply drinking water.
The population of South East England continues to grow – we all know about the 1,000 new homes at Ridgewood – and that’s just one example of the housebuilding planned for our corner of Britain.
Every house will need water. We are told to use water wisely but there are two points to consider:
- Will we have enough water for all our needs in the longer term; and
- Will Uckfield’s flood defences work if push comes to shove.
Perhaps when we are over these elections, those in power might like to revisit the question.
And, by the way, if it rains this weekend – just blame Observer.