The UK cannot rely on the weather alone to ensure a reliable water supply, says the Environment Agency (EA), which is asking water companies to prepare plans now drought.
After the driest February in 30 years, followed by the wettest March in 40 years, the country is still recovering from last year’s hot weather.
Parts of East Anglia as well as Devon and Cornwall remain in drought conditions but are improving after above average rainfall throughout April.
The National Drought Group (NDG), which is made up of the EA, Met Office, government, water companies as well as agricultural and environmental groups, said collaboration is needed to ensure there is enough water for people, agriculture, fauna and flora. environment this summer.
EA Managing Director and NDG President John Curtin said, “This spring’s wet weather continues to improve water availability.
“But increasingly extreme climate shocks, like last summer’s heat wave and drought, can change everything in an instant.
“We need to be better prepared for future climate-related droughts and learn from what we have already experienced.
“That is why government, regulators, water companies and all water users will continue to work together, using the latest science and best practices, to ensure that our water resources are prepared for more extreme events in the future.”
The NDG, which met on Wednesday, said the environment will take time to recover from last year’s drought and the EA is monitoring the recovery of fish and invertebrates.
As of May 16, reservoir capacity across England stood at 92%, down from 49% at the end of September, when it was at its lowest.
Almost all river flows are normal or above for this time of year, the NDG said.
England is experiencing more extreme weather as the Earth’s temperature continues to rise and disrupt traditional weather patterns, with some areas experiencing droughts and floods at the same time.
Warmer and drier periods could lead to the return of drought conditions in parts of the country.
Water Minister Rebecca Pow said: “While recent rains have brought relief to many, it is crucial that we all work together to ease pressure on our precious water supply and increase drought resilience. – everyone has an important role to play.
“The government will continue to work with the Environment and Industry Agency, and through our water plan we are ensuring that key water supply infrastructure such as reservoirs can be built faster.
“Water companies need to better serve their customers, step up their water resources planning efforts, and take precautionary measures to ensure water resilience.”