Minister confirms ‘state of drought’ for Daventry area

THE Daventry district is officially in a state of drought, the Government confirmed this week.

The announcement was made during a drought summit on Monday which was hosted by Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman.

Much of southern and eastern England is officially in a state of drought, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said at the summit.

Defra added that water companies are ready to bring in hose pipe bans from early spring where necessary.

Anglian Water provides the majority of water to the Daventry district from Pitsford Reservoir.

The firm currently has a permit from the Environment Agency to take an extra 17 million litres of water a day from the River Nene to top up the reservoir.

But despite that the agency has warned a hose pipe ban could be on the cards this summer if low rainfall levels continue.

Rainfall in the Daventry district has reached its lowest level for 90

years.

At the summit this week water firms agreed measures to reduce the environmental impact of the dry conditions.

They include reducing water losses and improving leak detection, as well as encouraging customers to save water.

The Environment Agency will also take steps such as monitoring the impact of the dry weather on fisheries and wildlife.

Ms Spelman said: “Drought is already an issue this year with the south east, Anglia and other parts of the UK now officially in drought, and more areas are likely to be affected as we continue to experi-

ence a prolonged period of very low rain fall.

“It is not just the responsibility of Government, water companies and businesses to act against drought.

“We are asking for the help of everyone by urging them to use less water and to start now.”

Ms Spelman added that she wants water companies to look at the possibility of connecting pipe networks so they could transfer water from wetter areas.

Severn Trent Water, which supplies water to some of the district’s border villages with Warwickshire, has said its reservoir levels are more stable, meaning a hose pipe ban looks unlikely for them.