South West England, the Midlands and parts of Yorkshire are no longer in drought and it’s unlikely that water companies will impose hosepipe bans in these areas over the summer, the Environment Agency has said.
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 some parts of England. But parts of East Anglia and South East England remain in drought, with hosepipe bans still in place.
The Environment Agency said it will continue to keep drought status under continuous review and stressed that low groundwater levels remain a concern across England, with many still around 1976 levels and unlikely to return to normal levels before winter.
Dr Paul Leinster, chief executive at the Environment Agency, said: “Water resources across England and Wales are kept constantly under review. The recent record rainfall has eased pressure on water resources in some parts of England, helping levels in rivers and reservoirs to recover and providing relief to farmers, gardeners and wildlife.
“The Environment Agency will continue to keep a close eye on the situation. Low groundwater levels remain a concern across many parts of England, with many still at a similar level to those in 1976 and unlikely to return to normal levels before the winter. 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.