Groundwater levels still below normal despite a lot of rain during October

Despite the large amount of rain that fell during October, groundwater levels in Flanders are still below par. According to figures from the Flemish Environment Agency the situation is most acute in Limburg and Flemish Brabant. Several drier than averages years with hot summers have made groundwater levels fall. Although the level of groundwater rose during in October, it is still insufficient to constitute a buffer to see is through another period of drought.       

October 2019 was wetter than average. The first half of the month was particularly wet. However, even this wasn’t enough to bring groundwater levels back to where they should be.

The Flemish Environment Agency’s Kathleen Smet told journalists that "The rain was well spread and there were prolonged periods of rain. This is good and the groundwater level has certainly risen compared with September. However, we have gone through a prolonged period of dry weather and we need a lot more rain”.     

This is reflected by the readings from the various groundwater measuring stations across Flanders. At 35% of these groundwater levels are still “low”. Groundwater levels are “very low” at 37% of the measuring stations in our region. The situation is most acute in Flemish Brabant and Limburg.

Although there are currently no issues with water supply and nature needs less water during the winter months a lot more rain will be needed before we’re out of the woods.  "Not an occasional downpour but prolonged periods of rain. We need to ensure that the reserves have been replenished in case there is another dry period in the spring or summer”.