National advisers have warned that parts of the UK should prepare for a second summer of hosepipe bans due to water shortages as a dry winter is set to be followed by a dry spring. Farmers around Britain have also warned that some crops like lettuce and carrots could see a shortage.
Many areas around the UK are still “recovering” from a tough, dry summer, while two regions are still experiencing “droughts”. Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and East Anglia and Devon are still, despite recent snowy and rainy weather, experiencing droughts and water shortages.
And this February has been recorded as the driest in 30 years in England, with experts warning another dry spell would lead to more droughts.
Richard Millar, head of adaptation at the Climate Change Committee, told Sky News: "Following this dry winter, if this summer is again dry (which is expected more often due to climate change) then risks of water shortages could be even more acute."
The government has also been warned that hosepipe bans are brewing in some areas, most likely in the east and south eastern parts of England.
Sir John Armitt, chair of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), said: "If we continue over the next two or three months to have less rain than we might hope for, then there is a risk that in the summer we could see some [water] shortages."
There could also be "the potential for some water companies having to ask us to use less and perhaps to impose a hosepipe ban", he warned.
According to the NIC, the UK is going to need an extra four billion litres of water a day in 2050 to prevent drought. An investment that would cost the government hundreds of millions pounds - to around £700 million.
Meanwhile, The National Farmers’ Union (NFU), told Sky News that should the spring remain dry, many local farmers might struggle to grow enough vegetables like carrots, lettuce and cabbages. With some crops still recovering from last years’ droughts, the UK may be forced to import some essential veggies.