Drought status removed from three more areas
South West England, the Midlands and parts of Yorkshire have been removed from the Environment Agency's (EA) drought list due to the recent heavy rainfall.
Although parts of East Anglia and South East England remain officially in drought, the EA said today that the wettest April on record and continuing rainfall in May have significantly increased river and reservoir levels, reducing pressure on the environment and public water supplies in many parts of England.
In respect of the South West, Midlands and parts of Yorkshire, it is now 'unlikely' that water companies will impose hosepipe bans in these areas over the summer. For parts of East Anglia and the South East, however, water company restrictions remain in place.
Despite today's news, low groundwater levels remain a concern across England, with many still around 1976 levels and unlikely to return to normal levels before winter.
EA chief executive, Dr Paul Leinster, commented: "We will continue to keep a close eye on the situation as a return to a long period of dry weather would increase the risk again."
The 19 areas that are no longer in drought are South Yorkshire, East Yorkshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, Parts of Gloucestershire, Parts of Hampshire, most of Wiltshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands, Warwickshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire.