The U.K. said that record April rainfall helped take 19 counties out of drought, while water restrictions remain in London, east and southeast England.
Drought status was lifted from Yorkshire to Cornwall, meaning those counties are unlikely to face water restrictions this year, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said today in an e-mailed statement. Limits on water use remain for customers of seven water companies, including Kemble Water Holdings Ltd.’s Thames Water unit, the U.K.’s largest, serving 8.8 million homes and businesses in London, it said.
Swathes of the U.K. suffered a 22-month drought, leading to so-called “hose-pipe bans” restricting the use of garden hoses to water yards, wash cars, fill pools, ponds and fountains, and clean windows. The wettest April in more than 100 years of records ended the drought in some areas, while failing to replenish water tables in eastern England.
“We cannot forget that Anglia, London and the South East are still in drought and still experiencing water restrictions,” Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said in the statement. “Even the record rainfall we had in April and the prediction of more wet weather in May won’t make up for the water shortages in these areas caused by two extremely dry winters.”
Anglian Water, South East Water, Southern Water, Sutton and East Surrey Water, Veolia Water Southeast and Veolia Water Central are the other suppliers with bans that began on April 5.
The 19 areas that the department said have been cleared of drought status are: South Yorkshire, East Yorkshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, parts of Gloucestershire, parts of Hampshire, most of Wiltshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire, the West Midlands, Warwickshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire.
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