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UK is no longer a ‘wet and rainy’ country, head of Environment Agency says

June 19, 2020

By Paul Homewood


James Bevan beclowns himself again!


The UK can no longer be considered a wet country because of the effects of climate change, the head of the environment agency has said, as he urged people to turn off taps and take showers to save water.

More than 70 per cent of the county perceive the UK as a wet and rainy country and believe we have enough water to meet our needs, according to a new report supported by Sir James Bevan.

In a foreword, Sir James said that perception was “wrong”, despite the flooding seen during recent Storms Ciara and Dennis. Periods of extreme dry weather, linked to climate change, are putting strains on our water resources, with demand threatening to outstrip supply within 20 years, he said.


What planet is this guy on?

Rainfall has been increasing in the UK since the 1970s. This is, admittedly, mainly due to higher rainfall in Scotland, but in England itself long term trends are flat:


As for these periods of extreme dry weather, linked to climate change, you have to go back to 2003 to find the last really dry year, one of the ten driest.

Spring and summer, traditionally the driest seasons, are also not getting drier in England, nor is there any evidence of the extreme dry weather, linked to climate change, which Bevan talks about:



And don’t just take my word for it, even the Met Office tell us that there is no evidence to support Bevan’s contentions:


Far from the public’s perception being wrong, I suggest it is James Bevan who needs to be reminded of the facts.

  1. John Palmer permalink
    June 19, 2020 10:47 am

    He’s a muppet!

    • Athelstan. permalink
      June 19, 2020 2:55 pm

      A slam dunk – no messing!

      I wonder who told him to say that……Bevan, just.another ‘on message’ common purpose drone, drawling the sustainability mantras and not a brain neuron twitched.

  2. NeilC permalink
    June 19, 2020 10:54 am

    Highest rainfall yesterday St Athan S.Wales 50.0mm. Where I live in the Mendip hills Somerset, 64.5mm yesterday and this morning. I’m very pleased to say it stopped raining an hour ago.

    The man is an idiot.


  3. Ian Magness permalink
    June 19, 2020 11:02 am

    This guy Bevan has either got to be nuts or just stupid, with the only other explanation being that he’s lying – surely not!
    Of course he’s actually right to tell us that we need to be careful with water usage but the reason is that we don’t store enough in reservoirs for the huge increase in population (and thus dwellings, infrastructure etc) since we stopped building any. Rainfall is not the issue at all, never was.
    I’ve no idea where he lives but to give one example from the South East, my local water company (SES Water – east Surrey) produces very good rainfall statistics and graphs. To save anyone the bother of looking it up, what it shows is that, whilst we had a dry April and May in 2020, every one of the previous 10 successive months showed rainfall above the long-term average, with several of the months way above average for those times of year. So I’m sorry Sir James but it simply isn’t good enough crying wolf after two dry months and just ignoring the previous ten. In fact it’s pathetic and misleading.

    • John Palmer permalink
      June 19, 2020 11:20 am

      +10 as regards reservoirs, esp. in the Southeast.

    • tom0mason permalink
      June 19, 2020 1:39 pm

      Ian Magness,
      “This guy Bevan has either got to be nuts or just stupid, with the only other explanation being that he’s lying – surely not! “

      Probably all three – a stupid, lying, nutcase!

  4. jack broughton permalink
    June 19, 2020 11:04 am

    Wonder if the increasing number of the wind-blown white-elephants in Scotland is having unexpected effects on their micro-climates (action and reaction being equal and opposite)? Certainly, it has become wetter and wetter over the last 2 decades, the west coast used to get frequent hot summers even………..of course, it may just be a short term weather trend as most climate scares are.

  5. Mad Mike permalink
    June 19, 2020 11:44 am

    He’s only bum covering. As has been said, there isn’t enough reservoir capacity for the present and future population. Its tricky in the South East where I live as the population density is high leaving little room for reservoirs but if we had a national water grid we could build reservoirs where there is room. We need major investment and perhaps the Government’s new spend, spend, spend inclination can be directed that way. In the meantime we must listen to all these pathetic excuses for failure.

  6. bluecat57 permalink
    June 19, 2020 11:55 am

    Moved to South Carolina 18 years ago. It was during a drought. Could have said “SC no longer a wet and rainy state.” Now, it rains regularly and often. Explain.

  7. mikewaite permalink
    June 19, 2020 11:59 am

    Sir James Bevan is a professional, foreign office, diplomat . His skill in international affairs may be considerable- I am not able to judge , but he has no technical or engineering or science background.
    His degree is a BA in sovcial anthropolgy from Sussex U.
    Any opinion that he posts in the media on scientific matters relating to the climate or environment can only have been gathered by him from subordinates or from agencies , like the Met Office . However as Paul has shown , the evidence from them is in contradiction to what he has said.
    So what motive does he have for what he said?
    There is a bigger story behind this – i just feel it in my bones .

    • Coeur de Lion permalink
      June 19, 2020 5:15 pm

      Could there be an investment motive? Like Lord
      Gummer. How did the House of Lords investigation into Gummer turn out, by the way?

    • Joe Public permalink
      June 19, 2020 8:51 pm

      MW – The definition of a “diplomat” is: A person sent abroad to lie on behalf of their country.

  8. Chaswarnertoo permalink
    June 19, 2020 12:00 pm

    What a lying bleep.

  9. June 19, 2020 12:23 pm

    He is obviously simply parroting the nonsense he receives from Greenpiss. He is just sticking to the government and greenblob-backed narrative re global warming, proving himself to be just another, paid-up, useful idiot and worthy of completely ignoring.

  10. Dave Ward permalink
    June 19, 2020 12:33 pm

    Funny how we are constantly being told that storage will allow ever more un-reliables onto the electricity grid – even though the technology doesn’t exist at any meaningful level. Yet building reservoirs and a proper water grid (which is a tried and trusted technology, going back to Roman times) never gets a mention. It’s worthy of note that many farmers build their own reservoirs to manage limited water abstraction licences – although I suspect that much of that is covered by various grants. I wonder how much of the pointless HS2 budget would be required to do the same job on a national scale?

  11. It doesn't add up... permalink
    June 19, 2020 1:00 pm

    The facts are that due to complying with and gold plating the EU Water Directive, we have under-invested in water reservoirs and distribution while the population has continued to grow. Indeed, in the London area, a number of reservoirs have been filled in and are going to become housing estates adding to demand. That is why we have an apparent shortage of water to pipe to households.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      June 19, 2020 4:59 pm

      IDAU: It’s difficult not to come to the conclusion that this whole situation has been engineered over many years (the Socialist EU had very long time-lines for their plans) purely to create a crisis that only they can fix (of course). It’s pure Mencken.

  12. David Virgo permalink
    June 19, 2020 2:11 pm

    I get suspicious with this type of comment and wonder what else is going on. Much of the water supply in the SE comes from chalk aquifers and if extraction exceeds replacement from rain, the sea will do the replacement job…

  13. Ken Burnley permalink
    June 19, 2020 2:28 pm

    I have just emailed him to tell him the facts – suggest you do too. (

    • saparonia permalink
      June 19, 2020 11:48 pm

      nice one ty

      • saparonia permalink
        June 20, 2020 12:06 am


      • saparonia permalink
        June 20, 2020 12:20 am

        I sent him this: Sapa Holliday

        00:16 (2 minutes ago)

        From: Sapa —
        Date: Sat, 20 Jun 2020 at 00:03
        Subject: Climate Change

        Dear Mr Bevan,

        I am writing in response to an article printed in the Telegraph newspaper about UK weather trends.
        For the last couple of years there has been a drought that lasted for about a month in the area in which I live, which is close to the Pennines. I have noticed that storms and rainfall have tended to be less frequent but only when the wind is blowing from the West. When it blows from the East in the remaining ten or so months, there is an absolute deluge and spell of rainy weather that drowns plants in my garden. Also I have to barricade my shed or the roof is dragged off due to terrible gusts of wind. This is a disaster as I have to place receptacles to catch the water or it ruins my garden tools. I am quite lucky as I live on a steep hill. For the last few years people living in the local town and surrounding lowland areas have lived in fear of flooding, you may remember the floods of last year when the rivers broke their banks. It was in one of those events when my relatives had to sleep in Meadowhall Shopping Centre.
        As a rule though there is a lack of rainfall in those weeks when it’s warm enough to go outside.
        I would be interested to know which part of the country you reside in, as it seems that you may be having slightly better weather and I am interested in relocating.

        Yours Faithfully

  14. S Browne permalink
    June 19, 2020 2:51 pm

    I had an email from Severn-Trent just before the recent rain to say that because water usage was up 20% they were contacting me to ask for me to reduce usage. Interestingly they stated that this was not because they were short of raw water but because the treatment plants couldn’t cope with the demand… Maybe that is why global warming is being blamed?

  15. Athelstan. permalink
    June 19, 2020 3:12 pm

    From mikewaites’ post (above), it states that, Mr. Bevan is a bagman and educated as a ‘social anthropologist’ and I thought, I’ll have to look it up.

    This from wiki:

    “Topics of interest for social anthropologists have included customs, economic and political organization, law and conflict resolution, patterns of consumption and exchange, kinship and family structure, gender relations, childbearing and socialization, religion, while present-day social anthropologists are also concerned with issues of globalism, ethnic violence, gender studies, transnationalism and local experience, and the emerging cultures of cyberspace, and can also help with bringing opponents together when environmental concerns come into conflict with economic developments. British and American anthropologists including Gillian Tett and Karen Ho who studied Wall Street provided an alternative explanation for the financial crisis of 2007–2010 to the technical explanations rooted in economic and political theory.”


    me neither.

    Head of EA? What were the recruitment parameters yuman resouces bods requirements, in the department of bodge, FoE4gov and enviromentalism thinking of, or did they just throw some names in a hat and or draw lots?

    • Robert Jones permalink
      June 20, 2020 9:55 am

      I don’t think that selection will have posed a real problem, it was just Sir James’s turn in the barrel.

  16. ThinkingScientist permalink
    June 19, 2020 3:20 pm

    May be tell Emma Gatten, the Telegraph Correspondent who wrote the article, the facts. The story surely is: “Why is the head of the Environment Agency making claims about rainfall trends which are unsupported by data or evidence?”

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      June 19, 2020 4:50 pm

      Letter to the DT Editor? Go for it.

    • I don't believe it! permalink
      June 19, 2020 11:49 pm

      For Emma Gatten read Gillian Ambrose, she is just as bad.

  17. MrGrimNasty permalink
    June 19, 2020 4:22 pm

    London might touch 30C next week, brace yourselves for the headlines.

    Anyway, same guff 20 years ago:-

    “East Anglia, including Cambridge, has been officially classified a “semi-arid” zone…”

    Interesting because at school, a long long time ago, I learned in geography that East Anglia was technically semi-arid.

  18. dearieme permalink
    June 19, 2020 4:36 pm

    Every now and again someone raises the idea of using our “heritage” canal system to move water from the well-provided north and west to the Sahara-like south east.

    Alternatively, how about a simple pipeline network? Even allowing for the costs of new reservoirs in the hills it should be much cheaper than the batty HS2 railway line. Come to think of it, a large part of it could be laid on land bought for HS2, probably with much less disruption, less – preferably nil – destruction of ancient woodland, and many other advantages. You’d want to combine it with more widespread use of water-metering.

    Stray thought: are there any old pipelines that could be converted to this service? How about the old ethylene pipelines? Any redundant natural gas pipelines?

    Moreover it would give Scotland, Wales, and Oop North a handy income stream.

    Who’s going to persuade Boris?

    • Dave Ward permalink
      June 19, 2020 5:40 pm

      The Llangollen Canal was used to transfer water from Wales to Chester, and as you say various proposals exist which suggest using the canal network to do this job again:

      However, I doubt that these would realistically do the job needed today, as the flow rate would have to be kept low to avoid damaging the canal structure, and allow narrow boats to continue using the networks. If there is [ever] going to be a proper UK water “Grid” it makes more sense for it to be done with modern high-pressure pipelines.

    • June 19, 2020 8:50 pm

      The problem is that there is no natural down gradient for water to flow naturally hence locks on canals.

      The pipes required to shift the water needed would either have to be of a huge diameter or there would need to be many of a smaller bore. These then need to have massive engineering works to allow the water to go uphill and downhill

      . Doubt it is viable at present but it might help if we stopped artificially swelling our population by 300 ,000 newcomers every year all of whom require water and many of whom will want to live in areas under pressure from water shortages anyway.

      • dearieme permalink
        June 20, 2020 1:53 pm

        If the water starts from reservoirs in the hills and ends up in London there obviously is, on average, a natural down gradient.

        Objections to the scale of pipes and pumps is ridiculous – just look at what the Romans achieved even without pumps.

        The serious question is costs vs benefits.

  19. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    June 19, 2020 4:43 pm

    I have been misled. I’ve long had the impression that the Brits had better educational systems than most other places, especially regarding geography and geology, and especially with respect to the USA.
    Unless there is a shift north of the Azores High, or an orogenic belt develops from the Firth of Clyde to the Celtic Sea the climate of Great Britain cannot change.

    Weather is the subject of Chapter Two, discussed beginning next Wednesday.

    • Bertie permalink
      June 19, 2020 7:12 pm

      Our educational system which was, as you say, to be envied has been destroyed by political interference. The best teacher I ever had was a demobbed army officer with no formal training in the ‘art’ of teaching but a worthwhile degree garnered before the war. Teachers Training Colleges do not do the same job or achieve the same object and are in fact just hotbeds for the dissemination of marxism.

  20. Tim. permalink
    June 19, 2020 4:45 pm

    Now if they’d said that in 1976 I might have believed it for a few months. Our water butts are full (90gallons) and we have a pond threatening to overflow.

  21. Ajax permalink
    June 19, 2020 5:18 pm

    I really do begin to wonder by what right these people are allowed a share of our oxygen. They already waste our time and space. Deprive them of the oxygen of publicity and we will all be better off.

  22. Curious George permalink
    June 19, 2020 6:52 pm

    Wet and rainy is no longer what it used to be.
    Marriage is no longer what it used to be.
    Free speech is no longer what it used to be.
    Progressive is no longer what it used to be.

    • saparonia permalink
      June 19, 2020 11:42 pm

      ee by gum lad

  23. Graeme No.3 permalink
    June 20, 2020 12:09 am

    This is good news if the UK wants more rain.
    Twice in the past 11 years the head of the Bureau of Meteorology has announced that Australia has entered a new permanent drought due to climate change. Both pronouncements have been followed by several wet years.
    For some reason he’s still in the chair but the BoM seems reluctant to issue long term predictions.
    If interested try where he regularly discusses their “accuracy”.

  24. June 20, 2020 12:37 am

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Rewind to April 2012 (the wettest drought on record).

    Head of water resources at the Environment Agency Trevor Bishop said: “A longer-term drought, lasting until Christmas and perhaps beyond, now looks more likely.

    “We are working with businesses, farmers and water companies to plan ahead to meet the challenges of a continued drought.

    I’m beginning to think there is something in the water 🤔

  25. June 24, 2020 10:04 pm

    He thought so little
    they rewarded he
    by making him the ruler of the agency.

    Remember the mad bird woman who also ran the EA and has held other great and good crony appointments – Baroness Young used the EA to deliberately drown the Somerset Levels by ordered neglect of dredging and pumping for her beloved birds rather than protecting it and its many homes by the maintenance she was supposed to deliver as part of her responsibility to us that we pay for, for its use as farmland by the farmers it was drained to support? This constant stream of unaccountable incompetents being awarded positions they are wholly unsuitable for needs scrutiny by someone.

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