Yorkshire hosepipe ban as drought ‘could last until 2023’ – follow live

Yorkshire hosepipe ban as drought ‘could last until 2023’ - follow live
It comes as drought is expected to be declared for the most affected areas in the south and east of England

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Aftermath of Dagenham wildfires shows devastation

Yorkshire Water has become the latest company to announce a hosepipe ban as another heatwave scorches the country after months of low rainfall.

The restrictions will come into effect from 26 August, the company’s director, Neil Dewis, said – citing fears over falling water stocks and a need for caution over “clean water supplies and long term river health” as the basis for its decision.

It comes as drought is expected to be declared for some of the most affected areas in the south and east of England after many faced the driest July on record.

On Thursday, experts warned that only “exceptional rainfall” in these worst affected parts of the country over the autumn and winter would ensure that water resources returned to normal before next year, sparking concern that restrictions could last into 2023.

“The autumn-winter period as a whole will be critical to dictating what the water resources position will be as we go into 2023,” said Jamie Hannaford, a hydrologist at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

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Sainsbury’s and Tesco halt disposable barbecues sales amid ‘exceptional’ fire risk

Sainsbury’s and Tescos are the latest supermarkets to have put a stop to disposable barbecues sales amid fears they could spark dangerous wildfires after the recent dry spell left grassland like a tinderbox.

It follows in the footsteps of Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Aldi in halting sales of the potentially dangerous products entirely.

Tesco initally implemented a temporary local ban on disposable barebecue sales near areas of outstanding beauty – a policy similar to those currently in force in Co-op and Morrisons outlets.

Meanwhile, a Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “As a precautionary measure we are removing from sale all disposable barbecues until further notice.

Safety is our highest priority and we have made this decision due to the hot and dry weather that we are currently experiencing across the country.

“We will continue to closely monitor the situation and listen to customer feedback.”

It follows a petition on the UK government website calling for a national ban which has so far amassed more than 20,000 signatures.

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Drought could last until 2023, experts warn

Experts have warned that only “exceptional rainfall” in the worst affected parts of th esouth and east of England over the autumn and winter would ensure that water resources returned to normal before next year, sparking concern that restrictions could last into 2023.

“The autumn-winter period as a whole will be critical to dictating what the water resources position will be as we go into 2023,” said Jamie Hannaford, a hydrologist at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

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Yorkshire Water announces its first hosepipe ban in 27 years as reservoir levels fall below 50%

Yorkshire Water has become the latest company to announce a hosepipe ban, with restrictions coming into effect from August 26.

Yorkshire Water’s director of water, Neil Dewis, said: “Our decision to introduce a hosepipe ban is based on the risk that water stocks continue to fall in the coming weeks and the need to be cautious about clean water supplies and long term river health.”

There is also a heat health alert in place from the UK Health Security Agency, with experts advising people to look out for those who are older or with existing health conditions, as well as young children.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain reports:

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Drought may be declared for parts of England amid heatwave

Drought is expected to be declared for some parts of England, as another heatwave scorches the country after months of low rainfall.

There are expectations drought could be declared for the most affected areas of England in the south and east, after the driest July on record for some areas and the driest first half of the year since 1976.

The National Drought Group – made up of Government and agency officials, water companies and other groups such as the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) – is set to meet today to discuss the prolonged dry weather.

Emily Beament has more:

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In Pictures: Wildfires rage across Europe

<p>A man and a child watch a wildfire in Carrapichana, Celorico da Beira, Portugal</p>

A man and a child watch a wildfire in Carrapichana, Celorico da Beira, Portugal

<p>A view shows trees and vegetation burnt by a major fire in Hostens, as wildfires continue to spread in the Gironde region of southwestern France</p>

A view shows trees and vegetation burnt by a major fire in Hostens, as wildfires continue to spread in the Gironde region of southwestern France

<p>A view of a house and a car destroyed by fire in Belin-Beliet, as wildfires continue to spread in the Gironde region of southwestern France</p>

A view of a house and a car destroyed by fire in Belin-Beliet, as wildfires continue to spread in the Gironde region of southwestern France

<p>A picture taken overnight on August 11, 2022 shows the sky turning red as it is illuminated by flames at a wildfire near Belin-Beliet, southwestern France</p>

A picture taken overnight on August 11, 2022 shows the sky turning red as it is illuminated by flames at a wildfire near Belin-Beliet, southwestern France

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Watch: Sky above southern France fills with flames after wildfires rage across the country

Wildfires: Sky above southern France fills with flames in apocalyptic scenes
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Government responds to Labour’s claims that they ‘have put the smoke alarm on snooze’

A government spokesperson said: “The government is committed to ensuring fire services have the resources they need to keep us safe, including from wildfires, and, overall, fire and rescue authorities will receive around £2.5 billion in 2022/23.

“Lessons from the July heatwave are being implemented at pace and we are conducting daily risk assessments with the key agencies involved to ensure we’re fully prepared for extreme weather.

“We will set out our approach for the country’s resilience to 2030 and make sure we continue to be prepared to meet all future challenges.”

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The Met Office: Another hot and dry day expected across the UK

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What is the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke?

As we prepare for more intense summer conditions, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of heatstroke, and how it is different from heat exhaustion.

The latter occurs when the body is exposed to high temperatures and excessive sweating, typically from a loss of water and salt in the body.

Heatstroke is a condition in which the body can no longer control its temperature. When it occurs, the body’s temperature can rise to 41C (106 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher within 10 to 15 minutes.

Our Lifestyle team has the full explanation:

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Voices: Private companies are failing us – water should be in public hands

With droughts expected to be declared in parts of the UK by tomorrow, and many households already facing restrictions on the water usage, it could come as a shock to many to learn that up to three billion litres of water are wasted each day. When water was first privatised, the story was that this would result in record investment. But the country still struggles with Victorian infrastructure and the money promised for investment has been paid out in dividends instead.

While monopoly water companies are paying out to shareholders, they lose between a quarter and a fifth of the water in their mains through unrepaired leaks while sewage regularly flows into rivers and coastlines.

This is a national scandal and the water industry cannot continue to be rewarded for its failure.

Read the full opinion piece here:

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