It has been confirmed by the Environment Agency that Yorkshire has officially entered drought status after a prolonged period of unusually dry weather
Triggers for moving Yorkshire into drought status include river flow, groundwater, reservoir levels, total rainfall and the dryness of soils.
After months of very little rainfall, reservoir levels have fallen across much of the UK along with low river flows and drought order was approved last week for the Holme Styes reservoir in Yorkshire.
Recent dry weather and heatwaves continue to put pressure on the water environment and wildlife. Water levels at places like Baitings Dam and parts of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal are significantly low. Water levels at the end of July in England’s reservoirs were 65% less than normal capacity, which is the lowest it has been since 1995.
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.”
Yorkshire Water announced the first hosepipe ban in 27 years is set to come into place on the 26th August.
The water company, which supplies five million customers, has said that reservoir levels have fallen below 50% for the first time since 1995 – meaning they have had to take measures to help recover supply.