England battles worst drought in 50 years — Analysis
The use of hosepipes is now prohibited. Bottled water is highly in demand in the most dry summer for decades.
The UK Environment Department stated in a statement that a drought had been declared in 8 of the 14 England areas. This was in the middle of the dryest summer for 50 years.
After a meeting with the National Drought Group (which includes Environment Agency specialists, government officials, representatives from water companies, and other key groups), parts of Southwest, Central, Eastern, and Southern England were updated in their drought status.
Official declarations of drought are made by the Environment Agency (and water companies) and allow them to be officially declared. “step up their actions to manage the impacts and press ahead with implementing the stages of their pre-agreed drought plans.” These plans, among other steps, involve taking more water from rivers, imposing temporary restrictions such as on the use of hosepipes, transferring water between different areas of the country and even “Reoxygenating water is essential for rescue and recovery of river-flowing fish.”
Numerous water companies announced already restrictions regarding the use of hosepipes to water plants, water cars and fill paddling pool ponds. Violators could be subject to severe penalties. More than 32 million people will be affected by the bans.
Water companies encourage Britons to spend less time in the bath and flush toilets, as part of a new proposal from Wessex Water. “only when you need to.”
Amid drought warnings and soaring temperatures – reaching up to 35 degrees Celsius in London – the last few days have seen panic buying of water. Following the government’s drought announcement, some stores have reportedly started rationing bottled water.
According to the Met Office’s forecast, temperatures will fall early next week, with thunderstorms expected in most of England, Wales and Scotland.
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