Water levels 'unlikely to return to normal levels before winter'

Environment Agency chief executive Dr Paul Leinster has said that despite 'drought status' being lifted, many parts of England have similar "groundwater levels" to those in 1976.

The recent record rainfall has eased pressure on water resources in some parts of England, helping levels in rivers and reservoirs to recover and providing relief to farmers, gardeners and wildlife.

Low groundwater levels remain a concern across many parts of England, with many still at a similar level to those in 1976 and unlikely to return to normal levels before the winter.

A return to a long period of dry weather would increase the risk again.

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Drought over in parts of England

South West England, the Midlands and parts of Yorkshire are no longer in drought after persistent and heavy rain in recent weeks, the Environment Agency has said.