Drought could last until year end

A drought affecting parts of England could last until after Christmas, Britain's environment agency warned today, as rain over the spring and summer is unlikely to replenish low water levels. In a country more usually associated with damp and drizzle, drought has been declared in seventeen counties in England’s southeast and central regions, after two dry winters left rivers and ground waters depleted.

Although public water supplies in these areas are unlikely to be affected, the lack of rain is taking its toll on the environment and farmers, causing problems for wildlife, wetlands and crop production, the agency said in a statement.