UK drought conditions spread

Thursday 29th Mar 2012 by theWeather Club

IMAGE: NASA

The drought conditions that have been firmly ensconced in the south east of the UK have reached northern regions of the country. Parts of East and South Yorkshire have now being officially declared to be in drought conditions by the Environment Agency. The Agency said public water supplies in the area should not be affected as yet, however with lower river and groundwater levels it cautioned those licenced to take water from rivers should use the resource wisely.

In a statement Yorkshire Water said it did not anticipate any restrictions such as hosepipe bans for the time being but said that the company would watch the situation closely as the dry weather continued. "Our regional water supply system gives us flexibility," the statement said. "What it doesn't give us is an unlimited supply of water, so we would always encourage our customers to only use what they need, when they need it."

The Environment Agency recently declared drought conditions in parts of the South East and East Anglia. Seven water companies in those areas are now set to impose hosepipe bans beginning from the 5th of April. The continuing dry spell is getting increasing serious and the agency has warned that several parts of the country will now require above average rainfall in the coming weeks if the drought is not to spread more widely.

There are also growing fears that wildlife could be particularly hard hit by the continuing dry conditions. Conservation groups are worried that some wetlands, ponds and streams may dry out if there is not enough rain in the near future to make up for two dry winters, and the current dry spring.