Almost all of England now officially in drought

All of the south-west of England has been added to the list of regions granted drought status

Big Zero Report 2022

Bristol, Somerset, Dorset, south Gloucestershire and parts of Wiltshire have now moved to drought status as scientists have warned that England faces the worst drought since 1976.

Yesterday, the Environment Agency (EA) confirmed that all of England’s south-west region is now officially in drought.

The prolonged hot dry weather has led to low river and reservoir levels – the exceptionally dry conditions have made water suppliers introduce hosepipe bans.

Earlier this month Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly were also declared to be in a drought.

Defra and the EA have urged water companies to continue with their precautionary planning to protect essential supplies in the event of a dry autumn.

Chris Paul, the EA’s area drought lead, said: “Despite some heavy rain over the past two weeks, it has not been enough to refill our rivers and aquifers.

“River levels across our Wessex area are exceptionally low – many showing the lowest flows on record. This places incredible strain on local wildlife and this is why we are moving to drought status. We are prioritising our local operations to minimise impacts on the environment.”

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