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.

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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.

Areas no longer in drought

The Environment Agency announced today that drought status has been lifted for:

  • South Yorkshire
  • East Yorkshire
  • Cornwall
  • Devon
  • Dorset
  • Somerset
  • Bristol
  • Areas of Gloucestershire
  • Areas of Hampshire
  • Most of Wiltshire
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Leicestershire
  • Derbyshire
  • Staffordshire
  • West Midlands
  • Warwickshire
  • Shropshire
  • Worcestershire
  • Herefordshire
  • Areas of East Anglia

Thames Water: 'Too early to lift hosepipe ban'

England's biggest water company, Thames Water, said it could rule out applying for a Drought Order allowing it to impose more serious restrictions on water use following the weeks of heavy rain.

But the firm warned its 8.8 million customers in London and the Thames Valley that it was too early to lift the hosepipe ban imposed early in April. Richard Aylard, Thames Water's sustainability director, said:

It is a great relief for us that we can now rule out seeking a Drought Order this year. No water company wants to impose restrictions on its customers for any longer than absolutely necessary.

Despite all the recent rain, we still have a serious groundwater shortage, and we could yet have a long, hot summer, so, much as we'd love to, it would be irresponsible for us to lift the hosepipe ban just yet.


Wettest April on record helps to reduce drought in parts of England

The Environment Agency announced today that they have removed the 'drought status' for certain areas in England. Drought status has been lifted for 19 counties in the South West, the Midlands and Yorkshire.

The wettest April on record and continuing rainfall in May have significantly increased river and reservoir levels, reducing the pressure on environment and current public water supplies in some parts of England.

However, parts of East Anglia and South East England remain in drought.

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