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Environment Agency says it is watching water levels closely as the Met Office forecasts a hot dry July after a very dry June



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Households are being advised to use water wisely after a drier than average June and forecasts this week which suggest July could be a record-breaking scorcher.

The Environment Agency says it is watching the 'water situation' closely - admitting that if the dry weather is to continue there could be a risk of an impact on some areas.

The Met Office says southern and eastern areas could be in for some very hot weather in the coming seven to 10 days - with temperatures potentially reaching the low 30s by next Wednesday.

It is a good idea to irrigate your garden while you are away (57764602)
It is a good idea to irrigate your garden while you are away (57764602)

While some forecast models take the predictions for a heatwave one step further - suggesting that the mercury could tip near record breaking levels after the weekend on a number of consecutive days.

Millions of customers were last affected by a hosepipe ban in 2018 - before that 2012 - and while no ban came into force last year, South East Water was among those forced to contact customers last July about water use after a flurry of post-lockdown staycations and dry weather risked putting too much additional pressure on supplies.

Despite some rainfall towards the end of June it was a dry month for the UK with figures around a quarter below the monthly average.

There were concerns post-lockdown staycations would put pressure on 2021 supplies
There were concerns post-lockdown staycations would put pressure on 2021 supplies

The Met Office's monthly report says: "For the UK, an average of 59mm of rain fell in the month, which is 24% less than the long-term average. Areas in England and eastern Scotland were particularly dry, although not enough to trouble any records."

The Environment Agency, which is reminding people to only use a washing machine when its full, use a water butt in the garden and turn off taps properly, says it is working with water companies and watching the situation.
A spokesman said: "Some rivers in South East England have responded to the drier weather since mid-March and are currently below normal flows, although there are no reports of impacts on the local environment.

"There is a low-risk of significant impacts this summer with average rainfall. However, if dry weather continues throughout the summer the risk of impacts will increase.

"We are monitoring the water situation closely and continue to work with water companies and other abstractors to monitor water resources. We can all do our part to use water wisely, reduce our usage and manage this precious resource."

Using a watering can and water butt rather than a sprinkler can help conserve water
Using a watering can and water butt rather than a sprinkler can help conserve water

According to the agency's latest monthly report into water levels - very dry weather in April is continuing to have a bearing on water levels.

The summary in its latest report reads: Soil moisture deficits have continued to increase across the country as anticipated at this time of year, however the influence of very dry conditions in April continue to be felt with soils remaining drier than average. River flows decreased in May at all but two of the indicator sites we report on, with the majority classed as below normal and notably low for the time of year.

"Groundwater levels continued their seasonal decline at all indicator sites, with the majority of sites classed recording normal or lower groundwater levels at the end of May. Reservoir stocks declined at all except two of the reservoirs or reservoir groups we report on."



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