Half of England in drought: officials

Apr 16, 2012
A fisherman stands on his boat on the water of the half-full Bewl water reservoir near Tunbridge Wells in Kent, southeast England, on April 5, 2012. Half of England was officially in drought on Monday after the Environment Agency declared another 17 counties short of water, and warned the situation may continue until the end of the year.

Half of England was officially in drought on Monday after the Environment Agency declared another 17 counties short of water, and warned the situation may continue until the end of the year.

Despite rain across the country last week, two dry winters have left rivers and ground waters depleted, prompting the to urge businesses, water companies and consumers to be more careful in their use of water.

A ban on garden hoses has already been introduced in southern and eastern England, affecting about 20 million people.

Officials had hoped for more rain over the past six months, a period known as the "winter recharge period", but parts of England received less than 60 percent of the average winter rainfall during that time.

"A longer term drought, lasting until Christmas and perhaps beyond, now looks more likely," said Trevor Bishop, head of at the Environment Agency.

The agency had already declared drought zones in London, the south east, and parts of Yorkshire in , and on Monday it extended this to the southwest and the Midlands.

While public water supplies in these areas are unlikely to be affected, the agency said there would be problems for wildlife and wetlands, as well as for farmers' crops.

Explore further: Measuring phosphorus loss from Midwest crop fields

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Low rainfall in UK prompts drought summit

Feb 20, 2012

Low rainfall in recent months means large areas of Britain face drought this year, according to the government, which is staging a "drought summit" on Monday to decide what action to take.

Rain-deprived Britain limits water use

May 16, 2006

Britain's Environmental Agency warns the nation may face its worst drought in a century and has begun imposing restrictions on water use, a report said.

Britain faces drought after dry winter

Feb 05, 2006

Southeast England faces a summer of drought after the driest 15 months in 30 years, but northwest Scotland and Wales have had more rain than usual.

British rivers 'healthiest for 20 years'

Aug 30, 2011

The renaissance of Britain's rivers was underlined on Tuesday when waterways once considered polluted to death were revealed as teeming with life.

China drought leaves millions short of water

Mar 17, 2010

Millions of people face drinking water shortages in southwestern China because of a once-a-century drought that has dried up rivers and threatens vast farmlands, state media reported Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Measuring phosphorus loss from Midwest crop fields

4 hours ago

Field runoff from farms in the Lake Erie basin is often rich in soluble plant nutrients, including phosphorus. When this nutrient-rich runoff reaches the lake, the phosphorus can support abundant algal blooms ...

FACT CHECK: Both sides in Keystone XL debate bend facts

16 hours ago

Supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would run from Canada to the Gulf, say the privately funded, $8 billion project is a critically needed piece of infrastructure that will create thousands of jobs ...

Sao Paulo warns of severe water rationing

18 hours ago

Authorities in Sao Paulo, Brazil's richest state and economic hub, have warned they are considering severe water rationing if the country's worst drought in 80 years continues.

Refineries challenge EPA plan to cut emissions

21 hours ago

A rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency that aims to curb emissions from oil refineries and petrochemical manufacturers is causing tensions to flare between the agency and industry groups. The agency is reviewing ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.