Saving water now could avoid a summer ban
While rain may have returned to most of the UK water levels are still low and saving now could help abstractors avoid facing restrictions next year.The Environment Agency has written to nearly 1,500 abstractors in the south of England asking them to cut down on the amount of water they are using.
Farmers in parts of Essex and Sussex, where the drought has had most impact, are being asked to reduce the amount of water they take from rivers and groundwater aquifers.
Thirsty businesses such as golf courses and brewers have been reminded to check that water is used wisely and not wasted through leakage.
Water companies introduced hose pipe bans and other restrictions to conserve public water supplies and ease pressure on the environment, but wildlife that depends on rivers and wetlands is still suffering.
Ian Barker, the EA's head of water resources, said: "The drought remains serious in southern England, which has had the driest 10 months since 1976. "Recent heavy rainfall has helped to keep our gardens and countryside green, but it hasn't helped to replenish water supplies.
"We are encouraging everyone in southern England - businesses and households - to use water wisely now and into the autumn to help conserve supplies."
A report on the latest situation can be found on the Environment Agency website and is updated every Friday.
By Sam Bond
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