IT may seem like a lifetime but only a month ago parts of Hampshire were threatened by rising groundwater.

Whilst the high water levels have abated in the rest of the UK most of the remaining 30 flood warnings are in Hampshire.

Unlike river flooding where levels rise and then fall quickly, in Hampshire the danger comes from the groundwater within the saturated underlying chalk. It rises and falls slowly.

The current warnings are: Bishop's Sutton; New Cheriton and Bramdean; Hursley; King's Somborne and Little Somborne; Littleton, Headbourne Worthy, Easton and Chilland; Twyford and Hensting; the Candovers and Old Alresford; Hambledon; Nether Wallop, Broughton, West Tytherley and Pitton; and Farringdon, near Ropley.

The Environment Agency on its website has details of the threat to each location. The alert for the groundwater level at Preston Candover and Alresford says the water table is high, but falling. "The groundwater level at Preston Candover and in Alresford is high, but it is falling in both locations. At Preston Candover, the current rate of fall is between 1 and 2cm per day. In Alresford, the current rate of fall is 3cm per day. Over the next few weeks, groundwater will continue to prevent septic tanks from operating effectively in Old Alresford. In Preston Candover, groundwater will still affect a small number of cellars.In Old Alresford, groundwater will be preventing septic tanks from operating effectively. A small number of properties will be experiencing cellar flooding in Preston Candover."

Rod Murchie, retired water resources manager at the Environment Agency, said: "The peak water levels appears to be a couple of weeks ago but the levels are still extremely high. The chalk under the Hampshire downs is still draining out and will be for a weeks, months to come."

Mr Murchie said his walk down the Itchen Navigation past Bishopstoke Road had been stopped this week by the water still flowing across the path.

But the trees in leaf are now taking more water from the ground. It would take very heavy rainfall for the groundwater to start rising again. "It is not impossible but highly unlikely," said Mr Murchie.