Environment Agency chairman Lord Chris Smith has today called on the government to add to the UK’s 1,700 small-scale storage reservoirs to improve resilience in the water supply.
His statement comes as Met Office analysis suggests that the UK is increasingly vulnerable to short term drought. One in every five days in 2012 saw flooding and one in every four saw drought, according to the analysis.
“In 2012 we saw environmental damage caused by rivers with significantly reduced flows, hosepipe bans affecting millions and farmers and businesses left unable to take water from rivers,” said Smith.
“But we also saw the wettest year on record in England, with around 8,000 homes flooded. Interestingly 2007 - which saw some of the most severe flooding in recent memory – also started the year with hosepipe bans.
“More of this extreme weather will exacerbate many of the problems that we already deal with including flooding and water scarcity, so taking action today to prepare and adapt homes, businesses, agricultural practices and infrastructure is vital.”