Thursday, April 21, 2011

Drought fears: Low rivers signal summer hosepipe ban again - 21st Apr 2011

Rivers across England and Wales are at ‘exceptionally low’ levels for this month – prompting fears of summer hosepipe bans.

Eleven rivers are experiencing the kind of levels seen once every 20 years following nearly two months of unusually dry weather, according to the Environment Agency.

Another ten rivers are ‘notably low’ for the time of year. The worst affected ones are in the South-West and in central England.

They include the Derwent and Dove in Derbyshire, the Upper Severn in Shropshire and the Tamar on the Devon-Cornwall border.

Officially, it is too soon to talk about droughts and water shortages. But experts have warned farmers in East Anglia that bans on crop spraying may be introduced if the dry weather continues.

The low rivers are threatening wildlife including salmon and trout which migrate up waterways in the spring to spawn.

Terry Marsh, from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, said that healthy rainfall over the next few weeks is key to preventing a drought this summer. Read More