Dales in drought

Dales residents are being warned that the area is officially in drought.

The Environment Agency has announced the Conditions today across the whole of the Midlands.

The decision to declare drought was taken after the driest year on record in 2011, a second winter of below-average rainfall and only just over 40 per cent average rainfall in February and March.

Paul Crockett, Midlands drought manager, said: “The whole of the Midlands is now in drought, reflecting the impact of the extremely dry last 18 months on the environment. We are already seeing early impacts on the environment and a dry summer will make this worse. We are appealing to everyone to use water wisely and report any environmental incidents to us on 0800 807060.

“The amount of water we use has a direct effect on the amount of water available in rivers and for wildlife. River levels are already very low for this time of year and we expect to see some drying up, which will affect people who use those waterways, as well as fish and other wildlife.

“The Environment Agency must balance the water needs of people, farmers, businesses and the environment and we are working with all sectors to plan ahead to meet the challenges of a continued environmental drought.”