Drought Could Last Until 2013 Despite Rain
The drought across England is expected to last beyond Christmas, despite flooding rains forecast for the driest parts of the country.
A further 17 counties have become official drought zones, as the Environment Agency extends the country's "drought map" into the Midlands and the South West.
The Agency said dry weather over the past few months has left some rivers in England exceptionally low.
Warning of the prospect of the current drought stretching into 2013, Trevor Bishop, head of water resources at the Environment Agency, said: "A longer-term drought, lasting until Christmas and perhaps beyond, now looks more likely."
But Sky meteorologist Chris England said these drought-affected areas are still at risk of flashing flooding - but not enough to break the drought.
Heavy rain is forecast over the coming months, however the water is more likely to disappear into rivers, not soak into the ground, England said.
The Environment Agency, which is liaising with businesses, farmers and water companies to meet the challenges of a continued drought, had already declared drought zones in London, the South East, East Anglia and parts of Yorkshire.
The new official drought zones are Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands, Warwickshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire, parts of Hampshire and most of Wiltshire.
Exceptionally dry conditions across the major part of England are the result of a lack of rainfall over the past two winters, which has left rivers and ground waters depleted.
Officials stress that public water supplies are unlikely to be affected by the ongoing drought but are reiterating calls from consumers to combat the dry conditions by using scarce water wisely.
A hosepipe ban has already been imposed on millions of people across southern and eastern England due to the drought.
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: "As more areas of the UK move into drought it is vital that we use less water to protect the public's water supply in the driest areas of the country."
:: Your Questions On The Hosepipe Ban Answered
what do you think?
the drought could last untillthe end of the year but it may not , i do like acurate forcasting or is there some drought tax being thought up .
I think we have been let down by our governments again. Britain is a small country with limited resources and our resources are being put under strain because of the increase in population allowed by the last and this government. Politicians are supposed to be clever but they keep thinking the cake can continually be sliced thinner.
Here we go again, more water shortages. With two thirds of the planet covered by water you'd think that living on an island they would pump it from the sea. If these water companies thought more about stopping their own water wastage going down the drain and worrying about their profits and then charging us for the privilege, we might have a reputable and decent water supply. These companies are like most others in this country by not caring about our opinions as long as we keep having to pay for it. Unfortunately we are bound by laws and regulations which mean we have to keep paying for this selfish service.
Seawater is salty! However, it would be possible to build desalination plants to remove the salt, but theses are very expensive and require a lot of energy to run. Much higher water bills would be the result!
THERE IS NO NEED TO BE SHORT OF WATER,WE ARE A INLAND.WE ARE SUROUND BY THE SUFF.
There is no drought in the North of England and Scotland, is it beyond the abilities of the politicians to arrange the pumping of water from the north to the south? Or has the selling off of our water to foreigners resulted in making this impossible?
Windows Live User
Want to buy some of our water?
I live in the North.
Windows Live User
Then tell the south we will at least swap some of their jobs for water!
So Cameron wants every county to build 20,000 houses and he also says that migrants and immigrants are welcome. This will destroy the country. Most of our water firms are foreign and so is our electricity firms. We are the ONLY country in the entire world which allows this to happen. So the current and last Government are absolutely terrible. At the next General Election everyone should vote UKIP or BNP and then we would hace a PROPER Government and they would save this country
Windows Live User
We need water carriers! Cameron is about to change the face of British politics by opening the door to an Independant government or opposition
Wait for a new nationwide tax to pay for a north/south water pipeline.
This is probably all Labour's fault
I think that every house should have a waterbut attached to the downspout, this will collect water when it rains, to use for the garden and washing the car, saving money (if you are on a water meter) and valuable treated water. Maybe these should be provided by the Water companies!!
OOH you really are a cynical lot. Quite right too.
I did like the picture on the 'orange' frontpage shows an estury with small boats lying dried out! great - just one thing an estury is ormally tidal and the TIDE WAS OUT - IT WILL COME BACK IN A FEW HOURS! so why hasn't 'Cameron' legislated against it not raining, after all he acts like he is God (or one of his messengers) so nothing should be impossible to him OH and by the way you can't drink sea water so all that water out there is useless unless it is desalinated and that costs a lot! doubt if there are either enough desalination plants or the money to pay for them to sort out enough for this little island
yer right ! here we go again ! the planet is 2/3rds water if we have shortages its down too foolish irrisponsible goverments squandering money away on stupid things instead of building bigger resivors etc i wonder how many resivors could have been built with all the money wasted on the olipics ? 2 days of rain and hay presto we will be flooded lol
Where's all the adverts then? "Just £2 can help build a well in the UK providing a whole village with clean water" Come on world, show that you care!
The water companies have only themselves to blame because they are so greedy in ripping their customers off for the share holders. If you look at places like Malta where they conserve water and store water over the centuries you have to wonder why in the UK we d not do anything like this. It is too expensive is the cry from the water companies. If one of the water companies did start to conserve water they would lead the market and see off its compeditor. Now that would be a forward thinking water company. A great investment for the future.
come to the n/west water water water rain rain rain lots of it
sell our water to the south at propotionate rate of earnings that should reduce our water bills to practicaly zilch.
Well in Aberdeenshire we've had rain, sleet, snow and hail mixed with alittle sunshine for the entire Easter Holidays. Sooooo typical LOL
tHIS is another excuse to put the price of water up. possible instigated by the goverment. The bosses should waver there bonuses till all the leaks are repaired and the price of water falls its there bonuses that will always put up the prices. if we all stopped paying our bills then they wouldnt get there bonus