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  • by Karma Loveday

Water availability improves as spring’s wet weather continues

This spring’s wet weather continues to improve water availability, but preparation must be made for continual shocks and erratic weather patterns caused by a changing climate, the multi-stakeholder National Drought Group agreed when it met last week.

As of 16 May, the total reservoir capacity across England was at 92% and almost all river flows were normal or higher for this time of year. The two areas that remain in drought – parts of East Anglia, Devon and Cornwall – are also beginning to improve following above average rainfall throughout April.

Nonetheless, the Environment Agency (EA) advised water companies to learn from the response to the 2022 drought and plan ahead to better respond to future droughts as another hot, dry spell could see drought conditions return.

The group reported that the natural environment continues to take time to recuperate from the impacts of last summer and the EA is focusing ongoing efforts on monitoring how well fish and invertebrates are recovering.

Meanwhile, support for farmers in East Anglia has been coordinated between the Agency, Defra and National Farmers Union, including regular updates on the prospects for irrigation and the introduction of water abstraction e-alerts from the EA to help optimise water availability. A new multi-sector Water Resources East Dry Weather Group will also meet regularly and identify local opportunities for support.


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