Nobody’s mentioned hosepipe bans yet, but Environment Agency and Anglian Water are keeping check on Northamptonshire’s rivers and reservoirs

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‘Prolonged dry spell’ causing problems for wildlife and river users

Environment Agency chiefs are being forced to take action over the first ‘prolonged dry spell’ in Northamptonshire in four years.

Monitoring stations in the River Nene have shown groundwater levels are 'below normal', causing problems for wildlife and river users.

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Limits on the amount of water taken from the rivers are being considered.

Recycle water before reaching for the hose to water gradens, is the plea from Anglian WaterRecycle water before reaching for the hose to water gradens, is the plea from Anglian Water
Recycle water before reaching for the hose to water gradens, is the plea from Anglian Water

Claire Anderson a drought manager for Environment Agency said: “We continue to monitor our key river, groundwater and reservoir sites using telemetry, and are liaising with water companies to understand any emerging concerns.

“We are also working with farmers, businesses and other abstractors to manage water availability and ensure that they get the water they need to be resilient while maintaining our protection of the environment.

“We are closely monitoring the developing incident and produce regular reports on the water situation, available on our website."

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The Met Office weather station at Pitsford, near Northampton, has seen no rain for two weeks and only 0.8mm in all of July.

Once a prolonged dry weather spell is declared, actions are taken to minimise impacts on the environment and the risk of further deterioration.

The last time Northamptonshire moved to prolonged dry weather status was in July 2018 while the last drought was in June 2011 — and lasted seven or eight months through to 2012.

■ If you see any environmental impact due to dry weather, such as fish in distress, please report it to the Environment Agency 24/7 on 0800 80 70 60.

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Anglian Water is asking its customers to be aware of the amount of water they use during the heatwave.

The water company provides more than four million customers with drinking water across the East of England, supplying on average a billion litres of water a day to homes and businesses. The water comes from a combination of groundwater sources and surface water reservoirs.

But peak demand levels rise during hot weather, putting pressure on the water network.

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Sarah Castelvecchi, water saving manager at Anglian Water said: “We’re asking people to use the water they need to stay hydrated and healthy; we want everyone to use water wisely and reuse wherever possible to help us keep taps running this summer. Every drop of water is precious, so we work hard to make sure there is enough to go around for both today and tomorrow.”

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Anglian’s Top Water Saving tips:

· If you can’t save the paddling pool for another day, make sure you use the water on the garden before reaching for the hose.

· Use your bath or washing up water to top up your water butt to use on your plants.

· Your garden needs a lot of love and care, so why not explore our handy water saving tips for your garden that will save time, water and money.

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· Give the car wash a miss – a dusty car means you’re doing your bit for the environment

· Learn to love your brown lawn. Turn off the sprinkler, the grass will soon bounce back when it rains.

· Cutting showers to just 5 minutes, our region could save over 100 million litres of water every single day - that's like leaving a tap running for 30 years.