The British government has declared this Friday a state of drought in a dozen regions of England with consequent restrictions on domestic and commercial water use for residents of those areas.
The affected areas include parts of southwest, southern and central England and across eastern England, namely: Devon, Cornwall, Cornwall, the Solent, the South Downs, Kent, south and north London, Herts, East Anglia, the Thames region, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and the East Midlands region.
The British government statement, picked up by Sky News, urges residents and businesses in the affected areas to be “acutely aware” of the current pressure on resources and are asked to consume water “wisely.”
“We are better prepared than ever for periods of dry weather, but we will continue to monitor the situation closely, including the impacts on farmers and the environment, and will take further action as necessary,” said Water Resources Minister Steven Double.
Just this Friday morning, Yorkshire Water Services Ltd. became the fourth British company to impose a ban on the use of hoses for watering gardens or washing cars as of August 26. Yorkshire Water serves 5.4 million people and 140,000 businesses, according to its website.
However, the drought is not just affecting the UK, where temperatures above 35°C are again expected this Friday. Data from the end of July show that 47% of European Union countries are facing drought warning conditions and 17% are at alert levels, according to European Drought Observatory.
Forest fires have broken out in France as it endures a third heat wave and the worst drought on record in its entire history. The German state weather service DWD has also warned that in some areas there is a very high risk of forest fires.