The UK currently finds itself basking in a heatwave and a very dry environment can be seen all around. Parkland grass is the colour of straw and flowerbeds are bone dry. A recent trip to The Lake District proved to be unusually hard under foot. So should we be expecting a hosepipe ban and water restrictions this summer?
Earlier this year water shortage issues were a real problem. Rainfall over the winters of 2016/2017 and 2017/2018 were lower than average. This has the cumulative effect of causing low water stocks in the warmer months.
Back in January 2018 the Environment Agency was still warning this could lead to a hosepipe ban this summer. Water companies such as Affinity Water confirmed these fears by stating their groundwater levels were below average and that they didn’t expect them to be topped up enough during the spring and summer months.
But March and April 2018 provided much needed above average rainfall and this turned earlier predictions on their head. Jump forward to late June 2018 and things are different, despite the current sunshine. For instance Affinity Water now say that their water stocks are “near normal” which is good for this time of year. Similar reports come from other ‘at risk’ water companies too.
Interestingly the Met Office say that the far north and north east have been notably dry this month with certain areas only having half their usual rainfall during June.
Water companies are always advising us to save water (rightly so) and now is no different. But we see no reason to believe there will be any hosepipe bans or water restrictions in the UK during 2018. A third successively dry winter could definitely cause problems in 2019 though.
For the very latest updates, have a look at our Current Situation page.