There will be “no plans for restrictions on essential water use” in the immediate future despite hot weather drying up river beds and leaving parks parched.
With the prospect of hosepipe bans and other measures to save H20, the National Drought Group (NDG) was convened by the Environment Agency today, in a meeting attended by more than 30 national and regional groups, regulators and utility firms.
It said nowhere in England is considered to be in drought, but most of it had moved into ‘prolonged dry weather’ status, which prompted the agency to take precautions.
This comes after the UK experienced record temperatures of more than 40 degrees last week, with the agency saying it had to rescue fish in distress during extreme temperatures.
The EA and water companies are enacting drought plans to conserve water and urging people to be careful in its use.
“While last week’s extreme high temperatures are now behind us and there are currently no plans for restrictions on essential water use”, said Harvey Bradshaw, the Environment Agency executive director.
Also sitting as chair of the NDG, he said “we can all do our bit by reducing unnecessary water consumption and following advice from our water company to ensure this remains the case whilst our rivers are exceptionally low.”
He said the department is working with farming, water firms and regional groups to manage the situation
Water UK’s director of policy, Stuart Colville, said “companies have detailed plans in place to manage water resources” and “are doing everything they can..to minimise the need for any restrictions and ensure rivers continue to flow.”
“As we continue to see extremely high demand, we are urging everyone to carefully consider the amount they are using given the unprecedented conditions.”
Among those in attendance were representatives from Defra, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Ofwat, the UK Health and Security Agency, as well as devolved and regional bodies. The Met Office, around 15 water companies and the National Farmer’s Union also took part.