Drought remains despite a wet June

Despite the wet weather with many regions receiving more than their average June rainfall, parts of England are still officially in drought.

Central and eastern England have had 75% and 83% respectively of their average monthly rainfall but Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, parts of Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire and western Norfolk remain in drought.

Some areas have had more than the average monthly rain. South West England has had 32 mm of rain falling, 130% of its monthly average rainfall for June. South east England and Wales have now received 118% and 101% respectively of the monthly average so far.

Many rivers are recovering but there are still a number that have below normal flows for the time of year, including: the rivers Dove and Derwent in central England, Ely Ouse in east Anglia, Malmesbury Avon in south west England and the Kennet and Coln in the Thames Valley.

Most water companies are still saying that water restrictions are unlikely despite reservoir stocks being below normal for this time of year and hosepipe bans have not been initiated in England or Wales.

Improved approaches to water management, such as greater integration of networks and the combined use of surface water and groundwater, mean that water supplies are more resilient during dry weather than in previous droughts.

The rain has brought some relief to farmers, with abstraction restrictions being lifted in Kent for farms in Walland and Romney Marsh.

Environment Agency head of Water Resources, Trevor Bishop, said:

“The wetter weather has helped to lessen impacts on the environment this week. However, after months of little rain, the recent unsettled weather does not mean the drought or risk of drought is over.

“Without further sustained rainfall, river flows will quickly drop again and our teams remain on alert to respond to the environmental impacts of drought.”

Alison Brown

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