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Drought Conditions Predicted to Continue in England

Drought Conditions Predicted to Continue in England

For those of us who don’t live there, it may seem strange to hear news that England is facing drought conditions throughout much of the south and east of the country. However, many areas of the country have been facing exceptionally dry winters over the last few years.

The Environment Agency of the United Kingdom announced that, “East Anglia, the south east of England and south and east Yorkshire are in drought,” in an official statement released this past Friday.

The Midlands and the south west regions of the country have experienced two dry winters in a row, which have produced dry river beds and low water flow. City councils in places such as Birmingham have advised residents to limit the watering of outdoor shrubs and to employ basic water-saving techniques.

The vast majority of England has been recently classified as experiencing official drought conditions, according to The Guardian. This means that water supply companies can choose to apply restrictions on residential and business water usage.

In the last month, a number of water supply companies havebanned the use of hosepipes, according to the BBC, which essentially limits the ability for households to water lawns or shrubs with a hose. The ban will most likely remain in place for the duration of the summer and could extend well into the fall if the summer produces the same dry conditions as the early spring.

About 20 million customers will be affected by the new policy, which includes fines of up to 1000 if the restriction is disobeyed.

The 2012 Summer Olympics will be held in London this summer, and grass and sport fields will not be affected by the water restrictions of the predicted summer drought. This has been one of the warmest and driest years on record for the central and southern regions of England.

Although there have been recent rains in many areas of England, this has not canceled out the severity of the drought conditions or encouraged the government or water suppliers to lift any of the restrictive policies geared towards water usage.

The Environment Agency has stated that the water usage policies and the drought condition classification could remain in place well into the new year. It remains to be seen if the classic rainy English summer will prevail in a few months.

Officials worry that a third dry winter could follow on the heels of an unusually warm summer and autumn months which could devastate farming in the region and the health of wildlife. Toads and frogs have been especially affected by the dry weather and the lack of moisture for their mating season.

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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53 comments

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4:49PM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

Maybe Dr. Who can save us?

4:48PM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

Maybe Dr. Who can save us?

3:32PM PDT on Apr 20, 2012

I agree with what has been said re. the waste of water in the UK by both the bloated, privatised, in-it-for-profit water companies who move at a snail’s pace (if at all) to repair leaks that waste millions of gallons. However, a major portion of blame should be borne by UK consumers who have not yet adjusted to the idea that water should be used sparingly and rain is essential to sustain life. The British public have been persuaded that the only ‘good’ weather is endless sunshine. Having lived in NZ where we were on tank rain water I am aware of how precious water is. Living in the UK, I am appalled by the way in which weather presenters on the BBC & SKY always describe hot, sunny weather as “beautiful”, “great”, “lovely” and condemn rain, wind, frost and snow as “terrible”, awful” and “shocking”. The average Brit now regards the hot, dry weather more typical of holiday destinations in Spain, Greece, North Africa, Turkey etc. as the ideal and unlike the people of these countries, wastes water whilst praying for a long, dry summer.

2:08AM PDT on Apr 20, 2012

In Portugal it hasn't rained for more than 4 months.

9:51AM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

ty

6:47AM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

Funny, I moved to Canada partly because I got sick and tired of all the rain in the UK. Now I live in a country where having water is not a problem. But I still only flush the toilet when there is a solid deposit. People here are horrified I do this, but I see flushing the toilet for a little liquid deposit as one of the biggest water wasters there is. It takes energy, chemicals and chlorine to have that safe clean water that we flush away without a moments thought. A friend uses her bath water to water her grass and garden, she uses biodegradable soap only. We do get those dry days in the summers when the grass gets brown, but can also count on some great thunderstorms too. Let's face it, grass will never die it just does dormant when there is no rainfall. Watering grass is the greatest waste of water there is. Farmers here are wondering if they have enough residual moisture in the soil for the Spring plantings as Europe got our winter this year. We had very little snowfall, not the multiple feet we are used to.

5:59AM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

Thanks for the article.

4:33AM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

That's why we need to be flexible when it comes to our lifestyles... Looks like it's goona be increasingly necessary!

3:18AM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

I LIVE IN CUMBRIA, ON THE WESTERN FRINGE OF THE LAKE DISTRICT & WATER IS PLENTIFUL. I AM AWARE PEOPLE DO WASTE WATER HOWEVER THE WATER COMPANIES NEED TO FIX LEAKNG PIPES MUCH QUICKER.

11:29PM PDT on Apr 18, 2012

I'm a Londoner. I see it clear. We're going to be welcoming all those visitors for the Olympics this summer at the airport and saying "Welcome to London, perhaps the greatest city on Earth. Here is your bucket of water for the week."

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