The call by the Environment Agency (EA) echoes concern by environmental groups over the impact widespread drought will have on a number of species, such as water voles, newts, dragonflies and wading birds and fish. It warns severe drought could see many water-dwelling species diminish.

As a result, the EA is expected to announce new measures to help protect wetland sites by maintaining water levels by extending the licenses for these areas and making use of unused licensed water later this week.

This follows the publication of the EA’s drought prospects report last week, which warned that drought could spread if the dry weather continues this spring. It also revealed the whole of the south east and east Anglia are already in drought.

EA national conservation manager Alastair Driver, said: “The amount of water that we use at home and in our businesses has a direct effect on the amount of water available in our rivers and for wildlife. We would urge all water users – including consumers, businesses and farmers – to use water wisely to help protect our valuable natural environment.”

Carys Matthews

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