Drought declared in several parts of England

Droughts have been declared in parts of southwest, southern and central England and all of eastern England as high temperatures continue to fry the country.

The affected areas are:

• Devon and Cornwall
• Solent and South Downs
• Kent and South London
• Herts and North London
• East Anglia
• Thames
• Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire
• East Midlands

The announcement means residents in those areas can expect to see restrictions placed on domestic and commercial water use.

While moving to drought status does not automatically trigger actions itself, it does mean the Environment Agency and water companies will implement stages of pre-agreed plans.

These plans follow local factors including rainfall, how much water is left in rivers, reservoirs and lakes, as well as temperature forecasts and water demand, and lead to temporary use bans, such as hosepipe bans, being introduced.

Wessex Water, which provides water to Chippenham has said that currently they have no plans to introduce a hosepipe ban.

They say that we are unusual in that 75% of our water is groundwater and only 25% surface water from reservoirs. This contrasts with the national picture where only about 30% comes from groundwater. Groundwater is more resilient so providing we get 80% of normal winter rain, we will not have any problems next year.