Flood water in the Midlands after heavy April rain

Drought status lifted

The wettest April on record has eased fears of water shortages

Drought in the Midlands

Midlands suffering from drought

The Environment Agency says drought has hit the whole of the Midlands and it could last until Christmas.

Drought in the East Midlands

A scheme is being planned to push millions of gallons of water from one part of the Midlands to another to help ease the water shortage.

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Environment Secretary issues Midlands drought order

The Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, has defended issuing a drought order for the Midlands while Severn Trent, which supplies the region, sells water to Anglian Water in the east of the country.

She says Severn Trent's move will be replicated elsewhere in the UK.

"There are local connections turning up all over the country, so it's not as simple as one way traffic. For example, Thames Water has a desalination plant and sells water to Essex and Suffolk.

"Severn Trent supply Anglian and United Utilities are connected to Welsh Water. It's all about good connectivity, local connectivity, so we have the flexibility to move the water around where it is in adequate supply to places that really do need it."

Reporter asks: "Will Severn Trent be making money selling water to Anglian?"

"Severn Trent have yet to reach a final agreement with Anglian Water and, of course, Severn Trent have to remember that in another year they might need to buy the water from Anglian.

"I think they are approaching it in a spirit of co-operation, which we would expect to see."

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Temporary restrictions to "protect supply", says Government

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: "These temporary restrictions will help protect the public's water supply in the areas most affected by the record low levels of rainfall we have experienced.

"We can all help reduce the effects of drought by respecting these restrictions and being smarter about how we use water. Taking action now to reduce how much water we use will help us all in the future."

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