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Hosepipe ban: Brits warned to ‘save water’ as UK braces for drought emergency

Dry winter has led to drought warnings says expert

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Regan Harris from Anglian Water warned people to be “mindful of the water” that is being used as a consequence of last winter being the driest in England since 1976. Despite the company “not currently planning to have any restrictions this year on supplies”, she warned that the company is now “looking at things very carefully” as she explained, “this winter could bring us more problems for next spring and summer”. The dry weather the UK experience this year so far sparked speculation of a potential hosepipe ban being implemented later in the summer to save resources.

Ms Harris told BBC Breakfast: “Last winter was particularly dry and that can cause us problems later in the year for spring and summer.

“For Anglian Water, we usually say one dry winter doesn’t give us much cause for concern although we are clearly being mindful now of what’s going on and looking at things very carefully.

“This winter could bring us more problems for next spring and summer.

“While we should be mindful of the water we’re using, we’re not planning currently to have any restrictions this year on our supplies.

“Why are we getting the draught warnings at this particular time?

“Mainly it’s due to last winter being dry.

“Wintertime is our refill period for water companies.

“It’s when we expect rainfall.

“It’s when out river flows become higher.

“It’s when our reservoirs aren’t topped and our groundwater sources aren’t replenished.”

She added: “Reservoirs are still in reasonable shape.

“They’re about 80 percent full.

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“Our groundwater sources are in reasonable shape as well”.

The comments came a day after a meeting was held by water companies and the Environment Agency to prepare for a drought that could hit the UK this August if the country continues to experience hot and dry weather.

The Environment Agency’s chief of staff John Leyland urged people to start saving water.

He stressed: “Don’t wait for it to happen.

“This is how drought starts. The continued hot and dry weather may lead to more environmental problems in August”.

The warning came as the Met Office confirmed on Tuesday that November 2021 to June 2022 was the driest eight-month period in England since 1976.

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