Public advised to "use water wisely" after driest July since 1935

Anglian Water has ruled out the need for a hosepipe ban and said that reservoir levels are "stable" despite the lack of rain.

Anglian Water has ruled out the need for a hosepipe ban and said that reservoir levels are "stable" despite the lack of rain. - Credit: Archant

Anglian Water and the National Drought Group have called for the public to conserve water after the Met Office recorded July 2022 as the driest July in England since 1935.

Despite Southern Water announcing the first hosepipe ban in England since 2012, Anglian Water has said there is no plan to implement their own ban but will be watching things closely.

England had just 35% (23.1mm) of its average rainfall for the month, and the Met Office's long weather forecast predicts the dry weather trend to continue throughout August, especially for the south and east regions.

An Anglian Water spokesperson said: “Despite a very dry year so far, our reservoir levels are stable, at around 80% full, and our groundwater sources are in good shape too, so we’re not currently planning any hosepipe bans this year.

"River levels are lower than average, however, and we’re already reducing the amount of water we abstract in order to protect the environment.

“We operate in the driest region in the country, so conserving and managing our water resources and protecting against drought is what we do every day.

"Although one dry winter doesn’t give us cause for concern now, we also need to make sure we conserve enough water for tomorrow, next month and next summer too.

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"It’s such a precious commodity that often gets taken for granted. This is why we always encourage customers to use water wisely, whatever the weather.”

The lack of rain is beginning to impact farmers across the country and Huntingdonshire, with Huntingdonshire farmer Anne-Marie Hamilton commenting: "We have been absolutely desperate for rain for weeks now.

"The crops are dying from lack of moisture, rather than ripening, and harvest is already underway as local farmers are trying to rescue what they can as the blistering sun is harming the quality of the harvest this year."

The 8-month period from November 2021 to June 2022 has been the driest in England since 1975/76, with all months bar February being drier than average in 2022 so far.

Although, England had 30% more rain during the first six months of 2022 than in 1976.

On Tuesday, July 26, the National Drought Group had a meeting where they moved England into 'Prolonged Dry Weather' status, the stage before drought declaration.

The chairman of the group Harvey Bradshaw said that "there are currently no plans for restrictions on essential water use" but stressed we should do our bit to reduce unnecessary water consumption.