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Yorkshire moves into drought status

16 August 2022

The Environment Agency has confirmed drought status in Yorkshire.

The region joins large parts of England which moved to drought status on Friday 12 August 2022.

Recent, prolonged dry weather this year has led to exceptionally low river flows and reservoir levels falling across much of England. High temperatures, including last week’s heatwave, continue to add additional pressures on the water environment and wildlife.

The triggers used to confirm the move to drought status for Yorkshire include river flows, groundwater and reservoir levels, rainfall totals and the dryness of soils along with the impacts dry weather is having on abstractors (including farmers) and the environment. This is determined by the Environment Agency at a local level.

The last drought in Yorkshire was in autumn 2018.

Victoria Slingsby, environment planning and engagement manager for the Environment Agency in Yorkshire, said:

The high temperatures we are experiencing have exacerbated pressures on wildlife and our water environment in Yorkshire. These extreme weather conditions become more likely with climate change.

We are experiencing some much-needed rain this week, but it will not be enough to correct weeks of dry weather, and it will take more prolonged rainfall to wet up soils and replenish rivers, reservoirs and groundwater levels.

It’s important for everyone to manage the amount of water they are using in this exceptionally dry period.

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