Water companies across the UK have issued warnings to consumers amid fears the country is heading for a drought.
The National Drought Group moved England into “Prolonged Dry Weather” status, which is the final stage before an official drought, at an emergency meeting last month.
According to the Met Office, July 2022 was the driest July for England since 1935, with England getting just 35 per cent of its average rainfall for the month, and Wales 53 per cent.
Two water companies have introduced hosepipe bans, and others are encouraging consumers to be mindful of their water usage.
But according to Andrew Sells – who was head of Natural England between 2014 and 2019 – water issues could have been partially curtailed had it not been for a sell-off of reservoirs.
Dozens have been given up by water companies over the last 30 years – while no new ones have been built.
Writing for The Telegraph, Sells said the sell-off, with no replacements, was evidence of water companies putting profits before water resilience.
Thames Water, Severn Trent and Southern Water are among those to have sold off some of their reservoirs in recent years.
All currently have restrictions in place or are considering them.