The drought affecting the UK will continue at least into the autumn and possibly longer.
Any rainfall that does appear before then is very unlikely to replenish water stocks enough to be able to lift the hosepipe bans. Although rainfall would be welcome, most of any that comes will evaporate due to normal summer heat or be taken by summer vegetation.
Ideally water stocks are replenished during the colder months but two very dry winters have stopped this happening.
The situation isn’t getting better. March saw less than half the average rainfall for the month and unseasonably high temperatures made matters worse.
South East Water today warned “if the situation does not significantly improve, it may have to remove existing concessions, and introduce even wider restrictions, to protect both customers’ water supplies and the water environment.”
Several water companies have said that the hosepipe bans will be in place for at least the summer and that restrictions may become tighter.
The official drought zone – as decided by the Environment Agency – is slowly moving up the country and now extends to Teeside.