The National Drought Group along with the government and agency officials, water companies and other groups met on Friday morning and have officially declared that significant parts of England are in a drought.
Just after midday the drought was declared meaning water companies can now declare hosepipe bans due to the prolonged dry weather.
The South West, Central, Eastern England and parts of the South have been officially moved into “drought status.”
People will be banned from cleaning their windows, cars, sprinklers and using hosepipes in their gardens.
Yorkshire, West Midlands will move into drought status later this month and Thames Water warning on Friday morning that they could introduce a hosepipe ban as early as today.
In a statement, Water Minister Steve Double said, “We are currently experiencing a second heatwave after what was the driest July on record for parts of the country.
“Action is already being taken by the Government and other partners including the Environment Agency 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.
“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 Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said, “The National Drought Group has announced that parts of the country have moved into drought today, and I’m urging all Londoners to do all they can to help our city navigate this exceptionally dry spell.
“London’s river and groundwater levels are below average and reservoir levels have fallen significantly. This has been compounded by the prolonged dry weather and the heatwaves we’ve seen in recent weeks.
“While I am urging water companies to act swiftly to stop the leaks which are leading to millions of gallons of water being wasted every day, Londoners can also play their part by saving water as much as possible at home. We need everyone to pull together to help conserve this precious natural resource.
“I will remain in regular contact with Thames Water to ensure Londoners are fully supported during these challenging times.”
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