England’s entire south-west region is now in drought

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It is official. The southwest region of England is suffering from drought as extreme heatwave conditions across the country broke 90-year-old records, according to the Environment Agency. 

Reportedly, Bristol, Somerset, Dorset, South Gloucestershire and parts of Wiltshire in the Wessex area have been given drought status.

The announcement comes on the heels of the National Drought Group, earlier this month pushing Kent, South London, North London, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Devon, Cornwall, Solent, South Downs, Herts, East Anglia, Thames, and the East Midlands into the list of regions enduring drought-like conditions. 

Read more: Amid heatwave, UK declares drought across eight areas of England

For a country notorious for its inclement rainy weather, England has received below-average rainfall across all geographic regions, leading to rivers running dry as groundwater and reservoir levels plummet.

As per the Environment Agency, moving Wessex into the list was majorly due to this reason. 

“Despite some heavy rain over the past two weeks, it has not been enough to refill our rivers and aquifers. River levels across our Wessex area are exceptionally low – many showing the lowest flows on record,” said the agency in a statement.

Read more: UK issues new amber heat warning for England and Wales

“This places incredible strain on local wildlife and this is why we are moving to drought status. We are prioritising our local operations to minimise impacts on the environment.” it further added. 

Such has been the condition that authorities have been forced to clock in desperate measures. Six water companies across England have announced hosepipe bans to reduce water shortage and ensure that drought-stricken areas do not run out of water. 

Read more: Hosepipe ban begins in parts of southern England to protect river habitats

July was quite a challenge for the UK as it was the driest July for England since 1935. During the month, the temperatures rose above 40C for the first time. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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