Drought declared for parts of England after driest summer for 50 jare

Drought declared for parts of England after driest summer for 50 jare
The change could lead to more measures such as hosepipe bans.

A drought has been declared for parts of Engeland following the driest summer for 50 jare.

The conditions, which have almost completely deprived some areas of rainfall all summer, have prompted the National Drought Group to move parts of the South West, dele van suidelike en sentrale Engeland, and the East of England into official drought status.

The change could lead to more measures such as hosepipe bans, egter, die Omgewingsagentskap has reassured the public that essential water supplies are safe.

Dry earth on the banks of Grafham Water near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, where water is receding during the drought (PA/ Joe Giddens)
Dry earth on the banks of Grafham Water near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, where water is receding during the drought (PA/ Joe Giddens)

The NDG is made up of representatives from the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (terwyl die Departement vir Omgewing), watermaatskappye, the Environment Agency (EA), the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), Natuurlike Engeland, Consumer Council for Water, water services regulator Ofwat, Water UK and the Drinking Water Inspectorate, as well as the Angling Trust and the Rivers Trust.

Op 'n vergadering vroeër hierdie somer, it moved most of England into “prolonged dry weather” status, die eerste van vier stadiums wat gebruik word om die reaksie daarvan te beskryf.

Agt van 14 gebiede wat deur die EA aangewys is, het nou verskuif na "droogte", die tweede fase, insluitend Devon en Cornwall, Solent en South Downs, Kent en Suid-Londen, Herts en Noord-Londen, Oos-Anglia, Thames, Lincolnshire en Northamptonshire, en East Midlands.

Water minister Steve Double said action was already being taken by the Government, the EA and others to manage the impacts.

“All water companies have reassured us that essential supplies are still safe, and we have made it clear it is their duty to maintain those supplies”, hy het gesê.

“We are better prepared than ever before for periods of dry weather, but we will continue to closely monitor the situation, including impacts on farmers and the environment, and take further action as needed.”

The most recent EA data showed rainfall totals for August have ranged from 12% of the long-term average in north east England to 0% in south east and south west England.

Intussen, riviervloeidata byna aan die lig gebring 90% of measuring sites were showing below normal readings, met 29% geklassifiseer as "uitsonderlik laag".

Dit kom ná die droogste Julie op rekord vir sommige gebiede en die droogste eerste helfte van die jaar sedertdien 1976.

Four water companies, Welsh Water, Suidelike Water, Thames Water, and South East Water have all imposed hosepipe bans, terwyl Yorkshire Water aangekondig het dat 'n verbod op Augustus sal begin 26.

Die hitte en droë toestande het ook sy tol op die landbou geëis.

A dried out field near Bristol, where the prolonged dry conditions, have left the parched land turning from green to brown. A drought is set to be declared for some parts of England on Friday, with temperatures to hit 35C making the country hotter than parts of the Caribbean.Picture date: Friday August 12, 2022.
A dried out field near Bristol, where the prolonged dry conditions, have left the parched land turning from green to brown. A drought is set to be declared for some parts of England on Friday, with temperatures to hit 35C making the country hotter than parts of the Caribbean.Picture date: Friday August 12, 2022.

Volgens die NFU, gewasse soos suikerbeet en mielies toon tekens van stres van 'n gebrek aan reën, terwyl gewasse op besproeiing staatmaak, soos veldgroente en aartappels, het ook probleme.

NFU deputy president Tom Bradshaw said the situation was “hugely challenging” for farmers who were facing running out of irrigation water and having to use winter feed for animals because of a lack of grass.

The NFU also said “tinder dry” standing crops and parched grass posed a huge risk of fires spreading.

Mark Hardingham, chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council, gesê: “While we are likely to see more wildfires due to the current conditions, it is impossible to say whether this will be more than when the country experienced 40-degree temperatures.

“The bigger risk at the moment is a combination of temperature and wind speed, which will contribute to fire spread and makes incidents harder to manage and extinguish.”

Egter, he added brigades were “well prepared and have plans in place” to respond.

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