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Water resources during hotter summer months

The Environment Agency is urging people to follow water company advice to use water wisely during these hotter summer months.

Water Drop

The Environment Agency is urging people to follow water company advice to use water wisely during these hotter summer months to help manage demand and reduce the impact on the environment.

The overall water resources situation across England is looking generally healthy. Groundwater levels throughout England are now starting to naturally decline as expected for the time of year but remain within normal levels the start of summer. Rivers, lakes and reservoirs are also broadly where they should be for this time of year. Although during dry spells it’s not unusual for some rivers and lakes in faster responding water catchments to drop quickly but they tend to recover quickly when the rain returns.

Environment Agency operational teams and hydrologists continually monitor water levels throughout the year and will determine what action is needed. During hot weather we work with water companies and other organisations to reduce the impacts of the hot weather on the environment. The action we take includes incident response, regulating water abstraction, advising businesses and farmers on water usage and monitoring for environmental impacts.

The Environment Agency also takes action to ensure water companies have made robust plans for managing water supplies, although water companies themselves would decide on proposing water restrictions.

Paul Hickey, head of water resources for the Environment Agency said:

A natural reduction in river flows and groundwater levels at this time of year is to be expected and water companies plan for these summer months. The summer started with river flow and groundwaters at normal levels in most areas, including the south east following the rain in spring.

There is enough water for companies to maintain supplies if water resources are managed properly. There are currently no water use restrictions in place for water company customers. In the northwest there is an increased risk of Temporary Use Bans being introduced if current conditions persist. We encourage everyone to follow advice on saving water from their water company and use water wisely. At this time of year the Environment Agency is responding to pressure on rivers caused by low flows and we continue to actively monitor the situation.

If the public see fish gulping for air that could be because of reduced oxygen and river flows, please report it the Environment Agency incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

More detail on the current water situation is available on the Environment Agency’s Creating a Better Place blog:

Summer has started - what does that mean for the water situation in England?

Published 5 July 2018