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Risk of surface water flooding increases due to water scarcity

Water scarcity and flooding at the same time

Very dry ground can act like concrete, which means rain quickly runs off without soaking in. This increases the risk of surface water flooding, especially if the rain is heavy.

Dr Rob Thompson from University of Reading's Meteorology Department has shared a video on Twitter showing how long it can take water to soak into very dry ground.


The latest Flood Alerts and Warnings are always available on SEPA's website. People can also register for SEPA’s free Floodline alert service by calling 0345 988 1188 or by visiting

Water scarcity, heavy rain and pollution

Heavy rain showers following a prolonged period of dry weather can wash pollutants that have been accumulating on roads and pavements and in drains into watercourses. This first flush of pollutants, particularly into rivers that are still low, could lead to fish kills.

Anyone concerned about a potential pollution incident is encouraged to contact SEPA’s 24-hour pollution reporting line as soon as possible. This can be done using the online reporting form at or telephone on 0800 80 70 60.