The Environment Agency has today confirmed that parts of Yorkshire are now officially in drought.
The drought conditions apply to catchments of the River Don, the River Rother, the River Hull, and the River Derwent, which is pretty much the whole of South Yorkshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire
The Environment Agency is concerned about the effect of the drought on the environment. Yorkshire Water does not currently anticipate any impact on the public water supply but is continually reviewing the situation.
The decision to declare drought was taken after several months of below-average rainfall combined with a forecast that the dry spell will continue over the next few months.
The lack of rain has led to low groundwater levels, particularly in the Hull catchment, and low river levels across all the affected catchments. In the Hull and the Don catchment, rainfall figures show it is the second driest 12 months on record since 1910, and an Environment Agency rain gauge near the River Rye in the Derwent catchment has had six consecutive months of below average rainfall.
My detailed weather charts extend out to the middle of April and I have to say that England and Wales in general, and our region in particular will be dominated by high pressure and predominantly dry weather. This is great for enjoying fine weather over the Easter break, but bad news as far as water reserves are concerned.
Now the trees and vegetation in general are awakening and coming into leaf, there will be further demand on ground water levels through transpiration; the process whereby plants need extra water to survive and grow.
So how can we save the precious commodity that is water?
- Always fill your dishwasher and washing machine full
- Use a washing bowl rather than filling your sink
- Always turn off the tap when you're brushing your teeth
- Fit a flushsaver and save 1 litre of water every time you flush the toilet
- When watering your plants always use a watering can
- Fit a water butt