Following the driest summer in 50 years, Britain will need to carefully manage water supplies in the next months, according to the National Drought Group, and should start planning for probable water shortages in 2023 now.
The panel, comprised of government officials, water firms, and environmental organizations, stated that there was enough water for all critical residential and commercial demands. Ten of England’s 14 Environment Agency districts are now in drought.
“There is however a need to continue to manage water resources carefully over the coming weeks and months to ensure that the needs of the public, farmers and industry, and nature and wildlife are met,” the group stated.
Drought was declared in areas of England earlier this month for the first time since 2018, and six water firms have enacted hosepipe bans to protect water supply.
The National Drought Group announced that it has agreed to increase its efforts to help manage the drought, including monitoring groundwater levels and conducting irrigation patrols.
It stated that water levels in rivers, lakes, groundwaters, and reservoirs could be replenished to normal levels by spring, but that preventative planning on how to manage any water shortages in 2023 if there is a dry autumn or winter should begin now.
“Both for the coming year and, with the impact of climate change, for the coming decade, a complete gear change is needed for how water companies and all water users, from farmers to households, think about how they use water,” Environment Agency Chief Executive James Bevan said.
“This summer should be a wake-up call for how the nation prepares for weather extremes and how we make the very best use of our water resources.”