Severn Trent Water warns on restrictions without rain

It has been the driest period in Wales for Welsh Water since 1975/76
Image caption It has been the driest period in Wales for Welsh Water since 1975/76

A water company which serves much of mid Wales says more rain is needed to avoid restrictions on supplies.

Severn Trent Water says rainfall is needed over the coming days and week.

But Welsh Water, which supplies most of the nation, says it is not expecting to have to limit supplies.

Environment Agency Wales said the country was not expected to be officially in a drought in the near future, unlike some areas of eastern England.

Some other parts of the UK are in a "near-drought" state.

Severn Trent Water serves a large area of mid Wales stretching from Machynlleth in the west to the border with England in the east.


Martin Kane, its customer services director, said: "Our first priority is to provide a continuous supply of high-quality drinking water to our customers, but as a result of the recent weather most of our reservoirs are lower than we would like them to be.

"While it might not be a popular thing to wish for during the summer, what we need is more rain, spread over several days and weeks, so the reservoirs across the region can be replenished.

"No final decision has been made, but unless we see a return to seasonal average rainfall, we are facing the likelihood of water restrictions in parts of our region in the near future."

But there was better news for Welsh Water customers.

"The rainfall we have had most recently has seen all our reservoirs return to their normal operating conditions across Wales," said Peter Perry, executive director of operations.

"We have slightly more water in our reservoirs this year than we did at this time last year."

He added: "At this stage we don't envisage any restrictions on water use."

An Environment Agency Wales spokesperson said: "Parts of Wales are experiencing very dry conditions following the driest spring since 1990,"

"However, we do not not expect to move to official "drought" status in the near future in Wales.

Second driest spring

"This is because most rivers have responded well to the recent rain and it has helped to maintain reservoir storage.

"There have been improvements in the south west of Wales due to the recent rain.

"River flows in much of south east Wales [the Wye, Usk and Ebbw] as well as tributaries of the Dee remain very low for the time of year."

Water shortages are not expected, but farmers and industry have been told to ensure that they have plans in place to deal with hot dry spells.

Across the whole of England and Wales, 2011 had the second driest spring since 1910 and the driest spring since 1990, according to the Met Office.

Overall, England and Wales had 45% of the long-term average rainfall for March, April and May.

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