Continued drought in England forces regulator to take action

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LONDON, England, Nov. 28, 2011 – Despite being known for its wet winters, England continues to face drought conditions as a result of unusually dry weather throughout the year.

As a result, environmental regulator the Environment Agency (EA) has granted a drought permit to Anglian Water Services following an application from the utility on November 15.

A statement released at the time by Anglian Water said that during Spring, when reservoirs are usually topped up in preparation for summer, “rainfall remained exceptionally low”.

The granted permit will allow the water company to take water from the River Nene until April 2012, to replenish a reservoir which is only 56% full.

Elsewhere in the country other counties such as Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and West Norfolk have seen the lowest yearly rainfall levels since 1921.

Permits are only granted to utilities if they have proven they are doing everything possible to reduce water demand, including reducing leakages and water saving campaigns.

Environment secretary Caroline Spelman said: “Some areas of the country have seen the driest twelve months since records began and therefore we are working with all sectors to plan ahead to meet the challenges of a continued drought.

“Water availability is one of the major challenges that the UK will face in the years ahead and while droughts are not new, we may face a future with less rainfall and less certainty about when that rain will fall.

The EA warned that without substantial rainfall over the winter, it could put additional pressures on water resources during the 2013 summer.

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