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Crippling drought hits south-east England


A water depth marker stands on dry ground at Cropston Reservoir, in Cropston, England
A water depth marker stands on dry ground at Cropston Reservoir, in Cropston, England

Staff writers

February 20, 2012 — A lack of rain in the fall and winter seasons has left parts of south-east England in an official state of drought.

Northern sections of England have had snow and rain this winter
Northern sections of England have had snow and rain this winter

The British Government has raised the prospect of a spring and summer drought across a swathe of England, following one of the driest winters on record.

The south-east has been declared officially in drought, while a belt of eastern England from Northamptonshire to Norfolk has been facing drastic water shortages since last summer. 

Many areas continued to experience prolonged periods of very low rainfall in the fall and early winter. The agricultural industry is already under pressure, and food prices are expected to go up as a result. 

There are already speculations that restrictions will be put in place this summer, as water companies work to replenish their reservoirs and rivers run low. The restrictions could include bans on the use of hosepipes for washing cars and watering gardens.

For some, the recent weather pattern has brought back memories of the infamous 1976 drought. 

Talks are already underway to bring water in from other parts of the UK, such as northern England, Scotland and Wales, where there are surpluses of the commodity. Still, water is considered heavy and costly to transport. 

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