Driest winter in over 20 years could spark a summer drought in parts of the UK

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Water companies are warning that the driest winter in more than 20 years could spark a summer drought in the UK.

Lack of rain during Autumn, winter and early spring has meant that river and reservoir levels are lower than usual in parts of the UK.

Unless water levels are replenished there could be droughts which could lead to hosepipe bans in the summer, especially in southern areas, water companies warn.

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With little or no rain forecast in the immediate future, hosepipe bans could be possible if the summer has warmer than usual temperatures.

Environment Agency spokesman George Leigh said: “some rivers, ground waters and reservoirs are lower than normal for the time of year.

“Below average rainfall could increase the likelihood of drought management measures in some areas” he predicted”.

Bob Ward, of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, said “It’s not yet a crisis, but we’re beginning what may become a period of drought.

“A continued lack of rainfall could lead to water restrictions.”

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