Drought plans to continue into November
The National Drought Group has stressed the need to use water wisely, following the pressures placed on water resources and the environment during this summer’s heatwave.
England has suffered the driest May to July since 1921, and the Environment Agency has responded to a 330% increase in drought-related incidents, with its teams deployed to protect wildlife and rescue fish struggling due to low river flows.
The Met Office three-month outlook for September to November forecasts likely above average temperatures and slightly lower than average rainfall. As a result, the Environment Agency has taken a variety of measures, including:
- Supporting farmers by allowing more flexibility with water abstraction
- Operating water transfers to help maintain river flows
- Making sure businesses abstracting water are not taking more than they need
- Issuing drought permits to United Utilities at locations in Cumbria, should they be needed later in the year
- Not cleaning fleet vehicles and office windows to avoid unnecessary water usage.
Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, said: “Despite the recent rain, we will need to continue to collaborate closely as we move into autumn. All of us have a role to play in helping to protect the environment and maintain supplies. We encourage everyone to use water wisely.”
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