RESERVOIRS serving the West Country are full after rainfall last month was 150 per cent higher than average.

The downpours in December meant unusually high amounts of water flowed into the reservoirs run by Bristol Water, which supplies South Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire.

On average, the company would expect to get 102 millimetres of rain falling in December but last month saw 156 millimetres recorded.

Yet despite everyone getting fed up with a soggy early start to 2014, Bristol Water spokesman Paul Kelson said January was so far proving not as wet as average.

Having full reservoirs at Chew Valley, Blagdon and Cheddar means Bristol Water can maximise use of those supplies and rely less on water coming from the river Severn, which is its largest single source.

Bristol Water serves a population of 1.1 million, as well as businesses, in an area of 1,000 square miles centred on Bristol, taking in areas such as Thornbury, Yate and Tetbury.

But although the reservoirs are full, the company is still urging customers not to waste it as the pumping and treating of water uses large quantities of energy and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.

Meanwhile, a planning application for a major new reservoir has been submitted by Bristol Water to meet the growing demand for water.

The £125 million project, if approved, will see a 9,400 million litre reservoir built in Cheddar - the first of its kind to be built in this country for more than three decades.

It is hoped to have it fully operational by 2025.