UK & World News
Record Rain Ends Drought In English Counties
Parts of England are no longer in drought following the wettest April on record and continuing rain this month, the Environment Agency has said.
Counties in the South West, the Midlands and Yorkshire saw the status lifted after downpours boosted river and reservoir levels.
Water companies in those areas are unlikely to impose hosepipe bans on customers this summer, the Environment Agency said.
Groundwater levels are still low across the country, and parts of East Anglia and the South East remain in drought with hosepipe bans in place.
England's biggest water company, Thames Water, said it could rule out applying for a Drought Order allowing it to impose more serious restrictions on water use following the weeks of heavy rain.
But the firm warned its 8.8 million customers in London and the Thames Valley that it was too early to lift the hosepipe ban imposed early in April.
Richard Aylard, Thames Water's sustainability director, said: "It is a great relief for us that we can now rule out seeking a Drought Order this year.
"No water company wants to impose restrictions on its customers for any longer than absolutely necessary.
"Despite all the recent rain, we still have a serious groundwater shortage, and we could yet have a long, hot summer, so, much as we'd love to, it would be irresponsible for us to lift the hosepipe ban just yet."
Drought status has been lifted for South Yorkshire, East Yorkshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, parts of Gloucestershire, parts of Hampshire, most of Wiltshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands, Warwickshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire.
Environment Agency chief executive Dr Paul Leinster said: "The recent record rainfall has eased pressure on water resources in some parts of England, helping levels in rivers and reservoirs to recover and providing relief to farmers, gardeners and wildlife.
"Low groundwater levels remain a concern across many parts of England, with many still at a similar level to those in 1976 and unlikely to return to normal levels before the winter.
"A return to a long period of dry weather would increase the risk again."
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: "If an area is no longer in drought, the public shouldn't have the possibility of hosepipe bans or other temporary restrictions hanging over their heads, which is why Defra and the Environment Agency have been continuously monitoring and reviewing the drought situation.
"But we cannot forget that Anglia, London and the South East are still in drought and still experiencing water restrictions.
"That's because even the record rainfall we had in April and the prediction of more wet weather in May won't make up for the water shortages in these areas caused by two extremely dry winters."
what do you think?
they should be now made to start fixing the leaks that lose billions of litres a day.
you know Lee it's perfectly normal for pipes to leak, especially the new ones. Wonder how much of a backhander they got for that little gem.
Perhaps we can persuade the government to purchase a fleet of snowploughs - it might get us a decent summer!
Jan N Andy Oakley-Hills
Drought conditions still exist in Kent, and yet they still plan to build thousands more houses around Ashford, putting thousands of acres of productive farmland under concrete, so just how are they going to supply the water for all these extra houses, where are the additional jobs coming from (apart from short term temporary construction work), and how is the garden of England going to continue to feed the population with less productive land and no water?? And what about the quality of life for us the local population of Kent?? WHICH BIT DON'T THESE POLITICIANS UNDERSTAND???
Windows Live User
Send them North East along with the Jobs. We have kielder to water them and lots of land to house them No money -no jobs is the problem
The garden of England does not feed Britain - its imported. Britain imported a huge amount of its food back in WW2, the situation is much worse now!
March winds and April showers - nothing new here except the lack of acceptance or responsibilty by water companys to fix the plumbing in order to catch, conserve and route the water. We get oodles of rain - it's up to those who manage it to manage it properly - not just for profit.
and the environment agency needed to tell us this - a) i couldn't have worked it out for myself (just look out of your window). b) i am really thick.
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Oh so this shuts up all those who kept saying "it's the wrong type of rain, we need it to be like this for 6 months to stop the drought" Now if you'll excuse me I'll go get the lilo out and float it in my garden. The sun is baking today!
how about we start looking at the mismanagement of these companies who continually manage to lose upto a quarter of this valuable resourse through leaks. This has been going on for years and we're told it's because of the "old victorian pipes" and now we find the new ones leak as bad.
I'm all for doing my bit in conserving water. We have 2 water butts.But the water companys need to be more vigilant over the amount of leaking pipes. Maybe the government could start a water butt scheme so every household had to have water butts at the end of their gutters [except flats of course]. They don't cost a great deal. Just an idea but I expect someone will moan about that one on here!
moan moan moan ;-)
I cleaned my 121 litre aquarium the other day. I normally bring the hose in the house to replace the water I take out but coz I live in the southeast (with the hosepipe ban) I had to carry watering cans and jugs through carrying the same amount of water as I would have used with the hose!!
In the drought of 1976, Dennis Howell urged couples to share a bath. Then came the monsoon. "Please take at least two baths a day; separately"
This English Drought is far from over you can bet in the months to come there will yet again be hose pipe bans. Regarding the New pipes these do not leak " When Fited Correctly" and there is the problem. Because they rush the jobs to get them done quickly and within the short time they have been given and without following correct preporation of the pipe and joint or the corect heating time for the Fusion Welding. The end result is they are not fitter properly and end up leaking when preasure is applyed