Yorkshire reserves drained

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The Independent Online
Some reservoirs serving drought-hit West Yorkshire are well under half full.

Having spent pounds 100m on boosting supplies, putting in new pipelines and cutting leakage over the winter, Yorkshire Water is now considering what extra measures might be needed to keep its promise of avoiding road tankers and cut-offs later in the summer.

The winter, like last summer, has turned out to be exceptionally dry in the normally wet west of its patch. A hosepipe ban - which has little effect in winter - already covers some 3.6 million people, and there are also a ban on watering parks, sports grounds and car washes which do not recycle water.

One option is to bring in huge quantities from neighbouring Northumbria Water's regions to the north, using pipelines and rivers. That company boasts the biggest reservoir in Europe, Keilder Water, which has been under-used since its construction.

The pounds 100m of investment spending in the past six months sounds impressive, but it is not huge in relation to the pounds 1.3bn a year Yorkshire had budgeted to spend on capital works in any case.