Drought declared in South Yorkshire

SOUTH Yorkshire is officially in drought according to the Environment Agency.

After several months of below average rainfall, the drought is affecting areas of the River Don, River Rother, River Hull, and River Derwent.

The dry weather is set to continue over the coming months, with forecasters warning the amount of expected rainfall will not be enough to top up South Yorkshire’s waterways.

The agency is concerned about the effect on the environment, but does not anticipate that is will impact on residents’ water supply.

Ben Hughes, the Environment Agency’s drought manager for Yorkshire, said: “The dry spell is forecast to continue over the next few months. We have been working with Yorkshire Water and it is not anticipated that there will be an impact on public water supplies at this stage.”

“However, we expect to see lower river levels, and some small springs and streams drying up, which will affect people who use those waterways, as well as fish and other wildlife.

“Our job is to balance the needs of people, the environment, agriculture and industry so that there is enough water to go round. Everyone has a part to play in making sure that we use water efficiently and even small changes can make a big difference to the overall picture.”

This winter the Environment Agency in Yorkshire took the unusual step of restricting the amount of water which could be abstracted in some areas. If the drier conditions continue, more water abstraction licence holders may be affected to protect the environment.

Mr Hughes said: “We are appealing to all water abstractors, including farmers and businesses, to look for ways to share and make the best use of a limited water resource.”