No hosepipe bans for now but autumn outlook remains dry

Water companies told a meeting of the National Drought Group last week that there are no current plans for hosepipe bands, but that water restrictions remain a possibility if rainfall in September is low.

While August has seen bouts of wet weather, the Met Office three month outlook for September to November forecasts that above average temperatures and slightly lower than average rainfall are likely.

According to the Environment Agency, May to July has been the driest in England since 1921. Its hydrologists recorded “exceptionally low” river flows for five weeks in a row; reservoir stocks for England as a whole were at historic lows for the end of July; and soils were the driest on record in the North West. The Agency also reported responding to a 330% increase in significant drought-related incidents as teams acted to protect wildlife and rescue fish struggling due to low river flows.