Wettest April leads to drought review

The drought order in parts of England has been lifted after the recent rain. Today the Environment Agency published its weekly drought update which shows the wettest April on record […]

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By Sumit Bose

The drought order in parts of England has been lifted after the recent rain. Today the Environment Agency published its weekly drought update which shows the wettest April on record and more rain this month has significantly increased river and reservoir levels.

Because of this it has lifted the drought status for South West England, the Midlands and parts of Yorkshire. It’s unlikely that water companies will now impose hosepipe bans in these areas over the summer.

However despite the miserable month of rain East Anglia and South East England remain in drought, with water company restrictions in place on public water use. The Met Office announced that last month was the wettest April since records began but despite this ground water supplies remain very low.

Dr Paul Leinster Chief Executive of the Environment Agency said: “The Environment Agency will continue to keep a close eye on the situation. Low groundwater levels remain a concern across many parts of England, with many still at a similar level to those in 1976 and unlikely to return to normal levels before the winter. A return to a long period of dry weather would increase the risk again.”

Until the start of April, England had 18 months of very low rainfall – the driest on record in some areas. After April the most rainfall in 100 years has meant river flows are up almost 48%.