last November’s flooding in Cumbria (source: Flicker Creative Commons)

Parts of northwest England may face hosepipe bans and drought orders after experiencing the lowest winter and spring rainfalls since 1929.

Areas in Cumbria, which were hit by flooding November, are now faced with rapidly decreasing water reservoirs after the region experienced only 38% of its normal rainfall for the month of May.

From a report in the Guardian:

The region traditionally has the highest rainfall in the country but has fewer natural underground water supplies, leaving it more dependent on man-made surface storage.

The UK Environment Agency has warned that water resources across the country are under long term threat due to climate change and population growth, though at the moment there is little threat to water supplies elsewhere in the UK.

From a report in the Telegraph:

It said that by 2050, many rivers could see a 50% to 80% reduction in average flows during summer months.

Regional water company United Utilities is applying to the Environment Agency for a drought permit, which would allow it to boost reservoir levels by taking water from lakes and other resources

‘Now, more than ever we need people to use water wisely’, a spokesman for the company was quoted in a BBC News report.

A hosepipe ban will be enacted if the unusually dry weather continues.

by Graham Land