1. ITV Report

Midlands suffering from drought

A boat makes its way across Edgbaston reservoir, Birmingham Photo: PA

The Environment Agency says drought has now hit the whole of the Midlands and that it could last until Christmas and early 2013.

The dry weather over the past few months has left many rivers in England very low, meaning the agency's 'drought map' has now been extended across the region.

The Agency says the recent wet weather hasn't been enough to help.

Trevor Bishop, head of water resources at the Environment Agency, said, "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."

Parts of the Midlands are now officially suffering from drought Credit: ITV Central

It had been hoped that rainfall from October to March would have been enough to help prevent widespread drought, but many parts of the country received less than 60% of the average winter rainfall - so this period which is known as the 'winter recharge period' didn't live up to its name.

Official drought-zones in the Midlands now include: Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

As with all drought warnings the agency is asking people to be careful with their use of water and to avoid wasting it where possible.