Essex included in list of areas in England where a drought has been declared

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A dried up Hanningfield Reservoir in Essex as drought is declared in East of England (PA)
A dried up Hanningfield Reservoir in Essex as drought is declared in East of England (PA)

A drought has been declared for the East of England following the driest summer for 50 years.

The conditions, which have almost completely deprived some areas of rainfall all summer, have prompted the East of England, which includes Essex, to be moved into official drought status.

It comes as the area experiences another heatwave amid a Met Office Amber warning.

The announcement could see restrictions placed on domestic and commercial water for residents in the area in drought, however, the Environment Agency has reassured the public that essential water supplies are safe.

By Friday afternoon, temperatures are set to soar as high as 35C in some parts of England, which will be hotter than the Bahamas, Jamaica and Barbados.

Read more >>> Here is the exact day and time it is expected to rain again in south Essex

Parts of the South West, parts of southern and central England, and the East of England are to be moved into drought status, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has said.

Water minister Steve Double said: “We are currently experiencing a second heatwave after what was the driest July on record for parts of the country. Action is already being taken by the Government and other partners including the Environment Agency to manage the impacts.

“All water companies have reassured us that essential supplies are still safe, and we have made it clear it is their duty to maintain those supplies.

“We are better prepared than ever before for periods of dry weather, but we will continue to closely monitor the situation, including impacts on farmers and the environment, and take further action as needed.”