LONDON (Reuters) – A drought affecting parts of England could last until after Christmas,
Britain’s environment agency warned on Monday, 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.
“A longer term drought, lasting until Christmas and perhaps beyond, now looks more likely and we are working with businesses, farmers and water companies to plan ahead to meet the challenges of a continued drought,” said Trevor Bishop, head of water resources at the Environment Agency.
Bishop urged the British public to conserve water supplies.
Images of umbrella-touting spectators at the often sodden summer tennis championship Wimbledon have reinforced Britain’s image as a rainy country.
In fact, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and other European countries have higher average annual rainfall than Britain.
- Drought spreads across England as soil moisture in Anglia reaches record low (telegraph.co.uk)
- Drought fear for 35million in Britain (thesun.co.uk)