Droughts: South of England

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 4th December 2017.

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Photo of Charles Walker Charles Walker Chair, Procedure Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the likely threat of drought in the East and South East of England; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Last winter and this autumn saw low rainfall in the east and south east of England and groundwater aquifers and some reservoirs are below normal levels. The Environment Agency is closely monitoring the situation and is working with water companies, businesses and farmers to prepare for potential consequences of continued dry weather in 2018.

For the longer term, Defra is working with the Environment Agency and Ofwat to ensure that water companies increase their resilience to droughts and reduce the risk of any future restrictions on water use.

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