Drought status spreads despite wet weather
The Environment Agency (EA) has this morning confirmed that the Midlands and South West regions have been moved to environmental drought status, despite last week being the wettest week across England and Wales since the start of January.
The latest counties to be affected include Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Derbyshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire, parts of Hampshire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Wiltshire and Worcestershire.
However, the announcement does not, as yet, bring any additional water use restrictions in these areas. There are currently seven water companies operating temporary use bans in the UK.
This morning's announcement follows calls from the EA to ensure businesses do their part to conserve water. For example, its Drought Prospects report advised farmers to seek ways to share water resources by setting up water abstractor groups.
And further advice was issued earlier this month urging all businesses to consider the ways in which they could reduce water usage.
Tips range from investing in rainwater harvesting and waste water recycling to having windows or company vehicles cleaned less often and ensuring taps are turned off when not in use and fixing any leaks.
EA head of water resources Trevor Bishop said, "Being water efficient makes good business sense and can help businesses save money. It will also ensure that there is enough water to produce food, products and services and in the environment for wildlife. We want to help businesses find ways to save and share water and we would urge businesses to contact their water company for help and advice."