Drought fears after low reservoir level

ANGLIAN Water has applied for a drought permit after seeing alarmingly low levels at the reservoir which supplies Daventry homes.

The company has become concerned with dwindling water levels at Pitsford Reservoir due to an unprecedented dry patch over the past 12 months.

Anglian Water has now asked the Environment Agency if it can take an extra 17 million litres of water per day from the River Nene to top up the reservoir.

And the Environment Agency is also asking people across the district to use water sparingly in the coming months.

Ciaran Nelson, from Anglian Water’s media centre, said: “This won’t mean a hose pipe ban.

“But what we want to do is take more water out of the River Nene and put it into Pitsford Reservoir.

“Everybody should also do what they can to try and use a bit less water, and that’s because we are in a position where we have had the driest year probably ever seen.

“We had 20 per cent less rainfall than expected last winter coupled with our driest spring in 80 years, and in September we had 50 per cent less rainfall than expected.

“This permit is looking ahead to next summer because we can’t guarantee higher rainfall between now and then.

“We want to take an extra 17 million litres a day from the river from the start of December until the end of March. To put that into context we supply a total 2.1 billion litres of water each day.”

Environment Agency manager David Hawley added: “Balancing the needs of people, businesses and the environment has been a difficult job this year.

“If we have a dry winter that could make next year far more difficult for everyone than this year has been.

“That’s why we’re asking everyone to look at their water use and see how it can be reduced now so that there’s enough to go around next year too.”

A decision on the permit is due from the Environment Agency within the next week.