Dry and drought conditions mean it’s time to get waterwise

1 December 2011

Parts of the UK are currently suffering drought and it looks like there will be continued stress on water resources in the coming months

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman says water companies and the public need to plan now for a summer drought to minimise the impacts of a potentially dry winter. See Defra's drought page for more information.

Even though the summer was a disappointment in terms of sunshine it was relatively dry and hot. As well, the autumn has been very dry and record-breakingly warm. This adds problems to a 2011 that had the driest spring in a century. In fact, of the last 19 months, 15 have had below average rainfall.

1 October is the start of the hydrological year, and the period until 1 March (the middle of the hydrological new year) is when underground rocks are supposed to be replenished with rainwater and reservoirs recharged. At present, in many parts of the UK, this is just not happening.

Anglian Water has received permission to pump up to seven million litres a day into the Pitsford Reservoir, and South East Water has applied to the Defra for an increase to the amount of water it abstracts from the River Ouse.

And all across the UK water companies are making preparations for a dry year. But we can all help by using water wisely. For a list of tips go to


Jacob Tompkins Managing Director, Waterwise

“The dry weather seems like a massive problem, but simple actions can have big results. From shorter showers to washing veg in a bowl – every drop counts."

"The conditions are not good right now, and water companies are doing all they can to make sure the flow of water continues, but it’s vital that we all make efforts to use less water." 

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