The Environment Agency convened the National Drought Group this week, made up of senior decision makers from Environment Agency, government, water companies, Water UK, the NFU and environmental protection groups including the Angling Trust and Rivers Trust. The group discussed the current situation and agreed actions to protect water resources and the environment in the UK in the weeks ahead.
Following the meeting, the National Drought Group’s members agreed to continue to work closely together to monitor and manage the current situation, including convening the National Drought Group’s water supply and communications sub-groups.
Harvey Bradshaw, Environment Agency executive director for the environment and chair of the NDG, said:
“While last week’s extreme high temperatures are now behind us and there are currently no plans for restrictions on essential water use, we can all do our bit by reducing unnecessary water consumption and following advice from our water company to ensure this remains the case whilst our rivers are exceptionally low.
“We are working very closely with water companies, farmers and other water users to manage the current situation. Today’s meeting was an important step in agreeing joint actions to protect our water resources with further dry weather forecasted for August, including ever-closer working to monitor and manage water supplies and the environment.
“Environment Agency teams are doing brilliant work across the country monitoring river levels and responding to environmental incidents, as well as enacting the early stages of our drought plans in many parts of England to protect people’s access to water and preserve the environment.”
Stuart Colville, Water UK Director of Policy, said:
“Ongoing warm weather in much of the country follows the driest winter and spring since the 1970s.
“Water companies have detailed plans in place to manage water resources for customers and the environment, and are doing everything they can, including working closely with government and regulators, to minimise the need for any restrictions and ensure rivers continue to flow.
“As we continue to see extremely high demand, we are urging everyone to carefully consider the amount they are using given the unprecedented conditions. The water industry is running a national water saving campaign called Water’s Worth Saving that provides the public with helpful hints and tips on how to do their bit with water use in the home and garden.”