Summer 2007 Floods report cover
The Summer 2007 Floods

National Hydrological Monitoring Programme - Occasional Reports

The National Hydrological Monitoring Programme (NHMP) produces reports, or webpages, on recent hydrological events of major significance. Some aim to comprehensively summarise the event and provide a historical record, whilst others are contemporary and often preliminary assessments of an unfolding episode, and their contents should be understood in this context.

The 2010-12 drought and subsequent extensive flooding [PDF download,7 MB]

Drought conditions developed through 2010, intensified during 2011 and were severe across much of England & Wales by the early spring of 2012. Record late spring and summer rainfall then triggered a hydrological transformation that has no close modern parallel.

This report provides comprehensive documentation and hydrometeorological appraisals of a three-year period which incorporated a number of important regional drought episodes as well as the outstanding runoff and recharge patterns which characterised most of 2012. An examination of the wide range of impacts of the drought and flood episodes is included and the extreme hydrometeorological conditions are examined within an extended historical context. Finally, the recent exceptional conditions are reviewed in the light of observational evidence for trends in temperature, rainfall, river flow and aquifer recharge patterns.

Briefing Note: An overview of the 2010-12 drought and its dramatic termination [News article; PDF download, 0.7 MB]

The 1975-76 Drought - a contemporary and retrospective review [PDF download, 12.9 MB]

The 1975/76 drought was at the time considered the most severe experienced across much of the UK.  Given its extreme intensity and broad spatial extent, the documentation of the drought remains relatively limited; this is particularly true in relation to material reviewing the wide range of its impacts. 

To redress the balance, Part I of this publication comprises a report on the drought completed in 1977, but previously unpublished, by John Rodda (CEH Fellow and formerly Deputy Director of the Water Data Unit). 

The 35-year period since the 1975/76 drought has been one of considerable hydrological volatility with notable drought episodes in 1984, 1989/90, 1991/92, 1995-97, 2003 and 2004-06.  The cluster of recent droughts, together with a continuing increase in temperatures has focussed concern on the degree to which climate change may be increasing the vulnerability of the UK to periods of sustained rainfall deficiency.  Correspondingly, Part II of this report capitalises on hydrometeorological data collected over the last 35 years to provide a retrospective review of the drought with a particular focus on whether the singular severity ascribed to the 1975/76 requires revision. 

Briefing Note: an assessment of the rarity of the November 2009 Floods [News article; PDF download, 0.75 MB]

The Summer 2007 floods in England and Wales [News article; PDF download, 11.63 MB]
This provides a hydrological appraisal of the 2007 floods, places them in a historical context and considers the evidence for any long term increase in the magnitude of major fluvial floods. Printed copies of this report are also available (contact the NRFA).

A preliminary risk assessment of the potential for groundwater flooding during the winter of 2007/08 (updated October 2007) [PDF download, 5.15mb]

The July 2007 floods in England & Wales - a preliminary appraisal (issued July 2007) [html webpages]

The 2004-06 Drought [html webpages; PDF forthcoming]
This documents the 2004-06 drought in a hydrological framework with particular reference to its impact on water resources and the aquatic environment.

The UK Drought of 2003 [html webpages]
This provides an overview of the development and impacts of nationwide drought conditions in 2003 (note: this overview is an extended version of a paper published in 'Weather' (August, 2004, Vol. 59, No. 8).

The 2000 / 2001 floods [html webpages]
These webpages provide a hydrological appraisal of what was the most severe flood episode, on a nationwide scale, since 1947.

The 1988-92 Drought (printed copies are available) [PDF download, 12.7 MB]
This report provides comprehensive documentation of the 1988-92 drought within a hydrological framework and establishes a benchmark against which future periods of severe rainfall deficiency may be compared. The spatial and temporal variations in the drought's intensity are examined and its severity assessed within the perspective provided by long-term rainfall and hydrometric records.

The 1984 Drought (printed copies are available) [PDF download, 8.9 MB]
The first occasional report in the Hydrological data UK series concerns the 1984 drought. The structure of the report follows the hydrological cycle with chapters devoted to rainfall, evaporation, runoff and water storage in surface reservoirs and aquifers. The report documents the drought in a water resources framework and its development, duration and severity are examined with particular reference to regional variations in intensity.

Reports on certain hydrological events between 1983 and 1995 were included as feature articles within the Hydrological Yearbooks of that time. These have been extracted and are available as pdf documents from the Hydrological Review of the Year page.

Contact the NRFA for printed reports.

For details of other National River Flow Archive publications please visit the NRFA publication page.

Press and Media enquiries should be directed to the CEH Press Office.