The Environment Agency is today warning the drought in East Anglia could last until Christmas or beyond.
The past 12 months have been the driest on record for the east. Despite recent heavy rain, officials at the agency say a longer term drought stretching into 2013 is now looking more likely. Plans are already being put in place to deal with the prospect of a third dry winter.
Environment Agency officials stress that public water supplies are unlikely to be affected by the ongoing drought, but are reiterating calls from consumers to combat the dry conditions by using scarce water wisely.
Warning of the prospect of the current drought stretching into 2013, Trevor Bishop, head of water resources at the Environment Agency, said:
– Trevor Bishop
"A longer term drought, lasting until Christmas and perhaps beyond, now looks more likely. While we've had some welcome rain recently, the problem has not gone away, and we would urge everyone - right across the country - to use water wisely now, which will help to prevent more serious impacts next year."
– Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman
"As more areas of the UK move into drought it is vital that we use less water to protect the public's water supply in the driest areas of the country. It is for everyone to share the responsibility to save water. We are asking everyone to help by using less water and starting now."
As of today the country's "drought map" has now been extended into the Midlands and the South West.