South West Water Announces New Hawks Tor Reservoir

For the previous article in this series please see:

The 2022 Drought in Cornwall

As Cornwall’s reservoirs finally begin refilling after a long hot summer South West Water announced in a press release last week that:

As part of South West Water’s continued investment in water resilience across the region, the company is today applying for a permit to unlock supplies from a new source in Cornwall.

Hawks Tor was a redundant china clay pit on Bodmin Moor purchased by South West Water in March 2022, the brownfield site has been converted into a water source and should be supplying customers this month.

This will be the first reservoir brought online by any water company in the country during the ongoing drought, using the latest technology to secure supplies in the short term and provide greater longer term resilience.

Susan Davy, CEO of Pennon Group which owns South West Water, said: “We continue to deliver on our long-standing commitment to investing in our region’s water resources, building capacity where it is needed most and ensuring long-term water resilience across the region. Having only acquired the site a matter of months ago, Hawks Tor should be supplying customers in November. We Continue to take early and proactive actions to ensure the security of water supply for our region during the current drought and into the future.”

Continue reading “South West Water Announces New Hawks Tor Reservoir”

Autumn Has Arrived. So Has The Sewage!

Following a very pleasant period of dry weather earlier in September the rains have arrived in North Cornwall.

Here is the Netweather.tv rain radar map from yesterday evening:

I suggested on Twitter that it would be prudent to consult the Surfer’s Against Sewage water quality map this morning. This is what it reveals:


Although not yet shown on the SAS map the Environment Agency’s bathing water quality map suggests not going surfing today at our local big beach break:

In related news here is this morning’s graph of the pound/dollar exchange rate:

It seems everything is going down the pan simultaneously here in Kernow, under the current Government in Westminster. Except bankers’ bonuses in the City of London of course! According to the Guardian:

The City watchdog is being urged to investigate whether leaks of Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget allowed billionaire hedge fund investors to make “small fortunes” by betting against the pound.

Tulip Siddiq, the shadow economic secretary to the Treasury, said the Financial Conduct Authority needed to determine whether it was possible for traders to have used insider information to benefit from the crashing currency.

The pound fell to an all-time low of $1.03 against the dollar overnight on Monday before recovering lost ground amid speculation that the Bank of England would raise interest rates to shore up the economy.

Perhaps we need our own currency here in Kernow? Bring back the dynar!

[Edit – October 3rd]

This news comes from the south coast of Cornwall, but according to their Facebook page the Gyllyngvase Surf Life Saving Club’s Endless Summer Swim event on Sunday was postponed for a week:

Unfortunately due to the deluge of rain yesterday, we have a sewage alert on the beach and with another wave of wet weather due for the morning, we have decided to postpone until next Sunday This year has felt like we’ve had constant alerts on the beach so please South West Water can you take responsibility and do something about it?

[Edit – October 22nd]

There’s been a fair bit of rain in these parts recently. Here’s the NetWeather.tv rain radar from yesterday morning for example:

Hence it doesn’t come as a big surprise that this morning several beaches on the North coast of Cornwall are yet again suffering sewage pollution according to the Surfers Against Sewage water quality map:

[Edit – October 28th]

After an all too brief respite from sewage pollution incidents along the coast of North Cornwall, this morning there has been a discharge at Widemouth Sand, our local big beach break:

There have also been incidents at Seaton and Millandreath on the south coast. Further south still, at Long Rock “sewer systems in this location are under maintenance and the water company has temporarily disabled real-time alerts”

[Edit – October 30th]

Widemouth Sand is clear again on the Surfers Against Sewage water quality map. However further west there are now several sewage pollution incidents along the north coast of Cornwall:

Some graphic videos of the pollution incident at St. Agnes have been posted on Twitter:

[Edit – November 1st]

After a very brief respite Widemouth Bay has suffered another sewage pollution incident:

So has St. Agnes:

[Edit – November 3rd]

There has been plenty of rain across Cornwall this week. Here’s the Met Office’s rain radar map at 4 PM yesterday:

Consequently there are now numerous sewage pollution incidents all round the coast:

The only good news locally is that Widemouth Bay is currently not red flagged, but at Summerleaze beach in Bude South West Water “has [still] temporarily disabled real-time alerts.”

Watch this space!

The 2022 Drought in Cornwall

For the previous article in this series please see:

The August Heatwave(s) in Cornwall

There ultimately proved to be two official heatwaves in August, but Autumn now seems to have arrived in North Cornwall. It is currently raining, but it remains to be seen how quickly the decline in Cornish reservoir levels can be reversed.

Earlier today the South West Lakes Trust updated their table of the current water levels of Cornish reservoirs:

South West Water also provide graphs for the largest two:

The water level at Colliford reduced by 3.1% of its total net capacity last week. Stithians fell by 3.2%. Our local Crowdy Reservoir declined by 2% over the week and Upper Tamar reservoir is down to 24% of its total net capacity.

Continue reading “The 2022 Drought in Cornwall”

The August Heatwave(s) in Cornwall

For the previous article in this series (which is becoming overly lengthy!) please see:

Drought for Cornwall later in 2022?

As the weeks have passed the answer to that question seems increasingly likely to be “Yes”. Hence we’ll begin August 2022 with the current water levels of Cornish reservoirs provided by the South West Lakes Trust:

South West Water also provide graphs for the largest two:

As you can see the water levels in both Colliford and Stithians reservoirs are already below their lowest levels last year. Colliford is also well below its level at the beginning of August 1995, a particularly dry year for Cornwall and other parts of the United Kingdom.

Continue reading “The August Heatwave(s) in Cornwall”

Drought for Cornwall later in 2022?

It seems as though summer has finally arrived here in North Cornwall. This is the Met Office weather forecast for the next week:

The Met Office has also issued a heat-health alert for the coming week, although it is seems unlikely that a “heat wave” will officially be declared in Cornwall:

Apart from the potential impact on human health, long periods of hot weather also mean reduced rainfall and increased demand for water. According to the BBC:

Continue reading “Drought for Cornwall later in 2022?”