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Risk of widespread summer water restrictions reduced

The wettest April on record and continuing rain in May have significantly reduced the risks of serious drought and widespread water restrictions this summer, the Environment Agency has confirmed today

But the Agency also warned that underground water levels are still low or exceptionally low in some areas, and some rivers are still at risk of drying up as ground water levels reduce over the summer with use. It stressed that it is still important that everyone continues to use water wisely, to protect water supplies for agriculture and the environment.

In its latest Water Resources and Drought Prospects report, the Environment Agency found that river levels and reservoir stocks have significantly improved, easing the pressure on the environment and water supplies. Further water restrictions for the public, farmers and businesses are now increasingly unlikely, it said. 

But with groundwater levels still low in some areas and unlikely to improve before winter, the Environment Agency and water companies are putting plans in place to protect water supplies next year if another dry winter further reduces these underground stocks.

“We have seen a huge improvement in water resources in just a few short months, putting us in a much more positive position for the summer,” said Environment Agency head of water resources Trevor Bishop. “But while the risk of drought with further water restrictions and associated environmental impacts this summer has reduced, the situation could deteriorate again next year if there is not enough rain this winter.

“We are still working with partners, planning for the impacts that a third dry winter could have on next year’s water supplies,” he said.


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