Steady rainfall ends acute drought

Groundwater levels up, but vigilance still needed Photo credit: Studio040/Lucia van der Ven

The frequent rainfall did not cheer up evryone in the Eindhoven region. However, water board De Dommel says that for the groundwater level, good rainfall is good news.

January and March were especially good for the groundwater level. In January there were 95 to 145 millimetres of rain, and in March 105 to 140 millimetres. That is considerably more than the average rainfall in those months over the years. In fact, the average rainfall in January is about 70 millimetres, while in March it is 60 millimetres.

February, by the way, was actually very dry. On average, 65 millimetres of rain falls in that month, and now only 10 to 20 millimetres fell. Overall, nevertheless, there was much more rain than in recent years during the same period. “The groundwater monitoring wells are currently at normal to wet for the time of year”, the water board announced.

Steady rainfall

Not only due to amount of rain that fell in the last few months, but also the the way it fell turned out to be good for the groundwater levels. “Steady rain, drizzle, and snow soak into the soil better than short, heavy showers. When rainwater has a longer time to soak into the soil, the groundwater is better replenished.”

However, the fact that there was so much rain is no reason for euphoria, the water board warns. “If it rains little for a few weeks, that can change quickly. Especially in higher areas, the groundwater level can then quickly drop again. We enter the spring now wetter than in 2022 but it can quickly become dry and warm again. We badly need the buffer we’re building now.”

‘Long-term approach needed’

The water board says that we need more than a few wet months to solve the water shortages we have experienced in recent years. “We need permanently higher groundwater levels so that we are better prepared for long periods of drought in the future. That requires an approach that will take years, perhaps a generation,” the water board says.

“In the long run, a structurally higher groundwater level is a matter of retaining more water and draining less. That’s why we have to be economical with every drop of water that falls. Water must be drained less quickly via ditches and streams, in addition, water use must decrease,” the water board said.

Source: Studio040

Translation: Chaitali Sengupta. She also gives online INBURGERING classes.

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