Drought is official
We are being assured essential water supplies are safe
We are now officially in a drought in the Banbury FM area.
The Environment Agency made the announcement at lunchtime that around half of England would now officially be noted as suffering drought conditions. Banbury sits within the Thames region – one of 8 officially covered by the announcement. Brackley is in the Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire region, which is also affected.
This change in status to drought categorisation does not automatically trigger actions, but means the Environment Agency and water companies will step up their actions to manage the impacts and press ahead with implementing the stages of their pre-agreed drought plans. These plans follow local factors including reservoir levels, demand and forecasts, and lead to precautionary actions such as Temporary Use Bans.
The last drought in England was 2018.
We are being assured that essential supplies of water are safe. Water companies have a duty to ensure these supplies and have reassured regulators and Government that they will remain resilient across the country.
We are being asked to be very mindful of the pressures on water resources and to use it wisely.
Harvey Bradshaw, Environment Agency executive director for the environment and chair of the National Drought Group, said: “The current high temperatures we are experiencing have exacerbated pressures on wildlife and our water environment.
“[Environment Agency] staff are doing an excellent job responding to environmental impacts and working with water companies to make sure they are following their drought plans.
“Today’s meeting has helped to build on our coordinated action to manage water supplies, consider water users and protect the environment. We urge everyone to manage the amount of water they are using in this exceptionally dry period.”
Water Minister Steve Double said: “We are currently experiencing a second heatwave after what was the driest July on record for parts of the country. Action is already being taken by the Government and other partners including the Environment Agency to manage the impacts.
“All water companies have reassured us that essential supplies are still safe, and we have made it clear it is their duty to maintain those supplies.
“We are better prepared than ever before for periods of dry weather, but we will continue to closely monitor the situation, including impacts on farmers and the environment, and take further action as needed.”
Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam