Drought could be declared tomorrow in ‘quite a few regions’, Sky News understands | UK News

A source from the Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs told Sky News there could be a drought in “some regions” tomorrow.

Contradictory news suggested earlier that drought will only occur in the Southwest.

One source added that the drought declaration is not expected to cover the entire country.

Local water companies have their own drought plans and issue them as needed – which could include bans on water cannons like those announced by Thames Water and South East Water.

That means affected residents can expect to see a range of restrictions on domestic and commercial water use – including bans on the use of flexible hoses depending on local arrangements. direction.

UK weather: Wildfires break out on Salisbury Plain

Much of the country is currently experiencing extreme heat and little rainfall, after the onset of a four-day amber rush. extreme heat warning, below normal in the waterwayand the driest July in Britain since 1935, where temperature rises above 40C for the first time.

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The scene of the fire broke out in the UK

This October 22 satellite image taken from above by the UK Met Office shows large areas have been affected by prolonged dry conditions, which have turned arid land from green to yellow and brown.  Release date: Thursday, August 11, 2022.
A satellite image of the UK released by the Met Office

There is no single definition for drought – so even though it is due to periods of low rainfall, each is different, with varying nature, duration and impact depending on the location and sectors affected. such as public water supply, agriculture, environment. or industry.

The Environment Agency’s National Drought Group (NDG) has come together to review statistics including rainfall, remaining water in rivers and reservoirs, as well as temperature forecasts for the coming weeks to decide. determine whether drought conditions have been reached.

No need to hit a specific target – the NDG just decides if all of these factors constitute a drought, and they can give an indication of its severity and duration.

The Environment Agency then decides whether to signal a drought or severe drought.

Lake Colliford, where the water level drops dramatically, exposes unseen trees and rocks at Cornwall's largest lake and reservoir, covering more than 900 acres of Bodmin Moor, Cornwall.  The Met Office has issued an amber warning of extreme heat covering four days from Thursday to Sunday for parts of England and Wales as a new heatwave looms.  Date taken: Wednesday, August 10, 2022.
Lake Colliford and Reservoir, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall

There are four stages of drought:

Prolonged periods of dry weather (yellow) – when possible impacts include a high risk of environmental damage such as risks to wildlife and plants
Dry period (amber) – stress on public and private water supplies, reduced yields of agricultural and horticultural crops, localized wildfires and long-term impacts on habitat and wildlife
Severe drought period (red) – extensive environmental destruction over long periods of time, widespread wildfires, crop or crop loss and lack of fodder and drinking water for livestock, broken public and private water supplies
Dry period recovery (amber) – depending on the type and severity of the previous drought

The two most recent droughts were announced in 2018 and a more severe drought in 2011.

The first heatwave earlier this year and the driest July on record in many parts of the country has seen Britain’s drought levels rise to a “prolonged period of dry weather”. .

This means there is a short-term risk to wildlife, plants and crops, and drought plans are being enacted by water utilities.

At the most severe stage, private and public water supplies will be at risk and restrictions will be imposed.

Currently, Southern Water has imposed a ban on the use of water cannons for customers in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Temporary restrictions on water use will also come into effect for South East Water customers in Kent and Sussex from Friday, with similar regulations announced by Welsh Water for Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire later in the month this.

And Thames Water has signaled that it will impose a ban on the use of water cannons in the coming weeks as the hot, dry summer continues.

Almost the whole of the UK receives below-average rainfall in July, with the exception of the extreme north of Scotland.

The latest weather forecast says the UK is on track for hotter-than-usual conditions and a heatwave pushing temperatures into the mid-30s in some areas this week, triggering health warnings. .

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Inside the first village in the depleted UK

And it’s not just the UK that is affected. There are concerns about further drier weather forecasts for many of the above countries Europe this and next month will exacerbate an already very serious situation and affect agriculture, energy and water supplies.

Nearly half of the European Union’s land area is currently under drought warning or in a state of “severe alarm”.

Scientists say the likelihood of drought is increasing due to climate change, which leads to greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and other human activities.

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