Parts of Britain may face hosepipe bans this summer as the UK faces a second consecutive dry winter in which rain levels have dropped significantly.
The Environment Secretary held an emergency meeting today where she brought together water companies, the Environment Agency, Natural England, British Waterways, the Met Office, environmental groups and farming groups to discuss how best to reduce the impact of more dry conditions.
Caroline Spelman told the BBC’s Today programme: “We have had a second dry winter in a row. Whereas last year it was principally the farmers that were affected by the dry conditions… I think it is more likely the public water supply will be affected unless we have substantial rainfall between now and the summer.”
People ought to start using less water now so there will be more left in the summer time, she said.
“The most important thing is to save water… What’s counter-intuitive is to start saving water now.”
The water companies are examining increasing interconnectivity to help shift water around the UK during times of need. Last month the Environment Agency said water levels were so low that twice the average rainfall was needed if a hosepipe ban is to be avoided.