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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.

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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.

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