Eastern England's drought may spread, says minister
Michael McCarthy, formerly the Independent’s longstanding Environment Editor, now its Environment Columnist, is one of Britain’s leading writers on the environment and the natural world. He has won a string of awards for his work, including Environment Journalist of the Year (three times) and Specialist Writer of the Year in the British Press Awards in 2001. In 2007 he was awarded the Medal of the RSPB for “Outstanding Services to Conservation,” in 2010 he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London, and in 2011 the Dilys Breeze Medal of the British Trust for Ornithology. In 2009 McCarthy published Say Goodbye To The Cuckoo (John Murray), a study of Britain’s declining migrant birds.
Thursday 01 December 2011
Parts of Britain face a drought next year unless there is a very wet winter the Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, warned yesterday.
Drought which has already hit areas of eastern England, after one of the driest springs on record, could continue and spread to other areas, such as the South-east, if sustained winter rainfall does not replenish water levels, Ms Spelman said.
Her warning came as South East Water applied for a drought order to help refill Ardingly Reservoir, where levels of usable water are now at just 12 per cent. Its application followed Anglian Water being issued with a drought permit allowing it to refill two of its reservoirs from rivers now, in an effort to avoid hosepipe bans next year.
The moves were a warning of the need to take action "after the country has seen the driest 12 months since records began," said Ms Spelman.
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