UK heatwave forecast: Yorkshire hose ban as drought ‘could last until 2023’

The aftermath of the Dagenham wildfires shows devastation

Yorkshire Water has become the latest company to announce a hose ban as another heatwave scorches the country after months of low rainfall.

The restrictions will come into effect from August 26, the company’s chief executive, Neil Dewis, said – citing fears of declining water stocks and a need for caution over “clean water supplies and long-term river health” as the basis for his decision.

It comes as drought is expected to be declared for some of the worst affected areas in southern and eastern England after many faced the driest July on record.

On Thursday, experts warned that only “extraordinary rainfall” in these worst-hit parts of the country during autumn and winter would ensure water resources returned to normal by next year, raising concerns that restrictions could last into 2023 .

“The autumn-winter period as a whole will be crucial in dictating what the water resources position will be as we go into 2023,” said Jamie Hannaford, a hydrologist at the UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology.

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Water companies should halve leakage by 2050 as ‘basic standard’

Water companies need to “step up” their efforts to fix leaks which can “damp people’s enthusiasm” to try to save the resource, the Consumer Council for Water’s (CCW) chief executive has said.

Emma Clancy said visible leaks can “really just turn people off” about the steps they need to take to reduce their water use.

She told Sky News: “We know that when you see leaks, especially visible leaks where you see an incident on the street, it really dampens people’s enthusiasm to take the steps we’re describing.

“So it’s very, very important that companies step up, that they tackle the visible leaks and also that they communicate much more clearly with people about the steps they’re taking and why they’re taking them.

“CCW’s research shows that around 50% of people are happy with the communication they receive from water companies, so there is some way to go and we think that can be strengthened. Leaks need to be addressed as part of this solution .”

She urged companies to see the goal of halving leakage by 2050 as “a fundamental standard” that they should strive to exceed.

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Drought won’t lead to ‘standpipes around Britain’

Drought in Britain would not lead to “standpipes around the country”, a minister has insisted.

asked by LBC what a drought would mean for the UK and what measures water companies should take, Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said: “This is not going to be like the 70s when there were standpipes around the country when we had similar kinds of temperatures.

“Since the private investment went into the water industry, we have actually seen many more improvements in things like leaks and the like.

“We need to continue to keep that focus, but overall I think it’s about people being careful with water.”

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Drought a ‘consequence of a changing climate and environment’, UKHSA says

Drought is a consequence of a changing climate and environment, and such changes leave the world open to “an increasing risk of new and emerging infectious diseases”, Professor Isabel Oliver has warned.

The UK Health Safety Agency’s chief scientific adviser on the transition told Sky News: “These changes are associated with an increasing risk of new and emerging infectious diseases – so diseases that we may not have seen before, because of our changing environment, we are at greater risk of experiencing.

“It’s really important, you know, that we continue to work to make sure that we’re preventing and mitigating these threats to health.”

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Thames water hose ban ‘could be pushed forward if drought declared’

Thames Water is “ready to go” to announce a hose ban if a drought is declared, the director of strategy and regulatory affairs has said.

Cathryn Ross said there is a process to impose a ban, but it could be bypassed if an official drought declaration is made later on Friday.

She told BBC breakfastt: “We will have to wait and see what the government says and exactly what it means, possibly even later today. I don’t know, of course we will consider that.

“But as you’ve probably noticed, since the end of May we at Thames Water have been asking our customers to respond to the hot weather, to respond to the dry weather and just really take steps to use water wisely.”

Asked if a drought had been declared, if the snake ban could come immediately, she said: “Very likely, yes. We are ready to start our snake ban.

“Obviously, before we introduce the ban itself, we need to be really clear with all our communications to people across the region, so we’re really clear to everyone what they can do, what they can’t do and if they have problems, how you contact us. We are ready to do that.”

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Extreme heat ‘more evidence’ of climate change, says minister

Cabinet minister Therese Coffey has called on water companies to “do their part” to reduce water leaks as another heat wave scorches the country after months of low rainfall.

Asked if the extreme heat that caused drought in England was due to climate change, the Work and Pensions Secretary said. Sky News: “I think that’s certainly more evidence, if people needed it, of the impact of extreme weather events with a gradually changing climate.”

She added: “In the short term we have seen an increase in investment in trying to reduce leaks … the water companies must continue to do their part to reduce unnecessary leaks.”

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Sainsbury’s and Tesco stop sales of disposable grills due to ‘extraordinary’ fire risk

Sainsbury’s and Tescos are the latest supermarkets to end sales of disposable barbecues over fears they could spark dangerous bushfires after the recent dry spell left grasslands like a tinderbox.

It is following in the footsteps of Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Aldi in halting sales of the potentially dangerous products completely.

Tesco initially implemented a temporary local ban on the sale of single-use barbecues near Areas of Outstanding Beauty – a policy similar to those currently in place in Co-op and Morrisons outlets.

Meanwhile, a Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “As a precautionary measure we are removing all disposable grills from sale for the time being.

Safety is our highest priority and we have made this decision due to the hot and dry weather we are currently experiencing across the country.

“We will continue to closely monitor the situation and listen to customer feedback.”

It follows a petition on the UK government’s website calling for a national ban, which has so far gathered more than 20,000 signatures.

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The drought could last until 2023, experts warn

Experts have warned that only “exceptional rainfall” in the worst-hit parts of the south and east of England over the autumn and winter would ensure water resources returned to normal by next year, raising concerns that restrictions may last into 2023.

“The autumn-winter period as a whole will be crucial in dictating what the water resources position will be as we go into 2023,” said Jamie Hannaford, a hydrologist at the UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology.

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Yorkshire Water announces first hose ban in 27 years as reservoir levels fall below 50%

Yorkshire Water has become the latest company to announce a hose ban, with restrictions coming into effect on August 26.

Yorkshire Water’s director of water, Neil Dewis, said: “Our decision to introduce a hose ban is based on the risk of water stocks continuing to decline in the coming weeks and the need to be cautious about clean water supplies and long-term river health.”

There is also a heat alert in place from the UK’s Health Safety Agency, with experts advising people to look after those who are elderly or with existing health conditions, as well as young children.

Maryam Zakir-Hussain reports:

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Drought could be declared for parts of England during the heatwave

Drought is expected to be declared for parts of England as another heatwave scorches the country after months of low rainfall.

There are expectations that drought could be declared for the most affected areas of England in the south and east, following the driest July on record for some areas and the driest first half of the year since 1976.

The National Drought Group – made up of government and agency officials, water companies and other groups such as the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) – is set to meet today to discuss the prolonged dry weather.

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In pictures: Wildfires rage across Europe

A man and a child watch a wildfire in Carrapichana, Celorico da Beira, Portugal

(REUTERS)

A picture shows trees and vegetation burnt by a major fire in Hostens, as wildfires continue to spread in the Gironde region of south-west France

(REUTERS)

A picture of a house and a car destroyed by fire in Belin-Beliet as wildfires continue to spread in the Gironde region of southwestern France

(REUTERS)

An image taken overnight on August 11, 2022 shows the sky turning red as it is lit by flames at a wildfire near Belin-Beliet, southwestern France

(AFP via Getty Images)

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