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UK Environmental Minister urges water companies to protect their supplies

The Environment Secretary met with water companies to discuss the measures they are taking to protect water supplies.

Hammersmith Bridge footing and chains swathed in insulating foil and cooled to 13 Celsius to prevent further cracking in heatwave of up to 34 Celsius. Image taken on July 14, 2022. Credit - Ian Alexander, CC SA 4.0.
Hammersmith Bridge footing and chains swathed in insulating foil and cooled to 13 Celsius to prevent further cracking in heatwave of up to 34 Celsius. Image taken on July 14, 2022. Credit - Ian Alexander, CC SA 4.0.

The Environment Secretary met with water companies to discuss the measures they are taking to protect water supplies in the driest summer in over 50 years.

The Environment Secretary and Environment Minister Steve Double met with the chief executives of water companies this morning to discuss the ongoing response to the prolonged dry weather.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “Whilst all water companies have reassured us that essential supplies are still safe, it is their duty to maintain those supplies.”

Each water company across the Uk has a locally tailored drought plan and they were urged to act responsibly to implement that plan to safeguard public water supplies. So far, eight water companies have enacted their statutory drought plans with others stating they are following the steps set out in their plans.

Two companies, Southern Water and South East Water, have already announced a temporary ban on the use of sprinklers and hosepipes in parts of England, as Britain’s Met Office said July 2022 was the driest July for England since 1935, reports Reuters.

The Met Office issued an Amber Extreme heat warning on Tuesday, with temperatures expected to build through the week, as Britain braces for another punishing heatwave later this week.

The warning by the Met Office, covering much of southern England and parts of eastern Wales from Thursday through Sunday, predicts possible impacts to health, transport, and infrastructure from the heat.

? Amber extreme heat warning issued ?
Extreme heat warning issued across parts of England and Wales
Thursday 0000 – Sunday 2359 The MET Office

Temperatures are set to soar to the mid-30s Celsius for several days, it noted. The sweltering conditions come just weeks after the last heatwave pushed the mercury over 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time in Britain.

Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist Dan Rudman said: “Thanks to persistent high pressure over the UK, temperatures will be rising day-on-day through this week and an Extreme heat warning has been issued.  

“Temperatures are expected to peak at 35C on Friday and Saturday, or even an isolated 36C on Saturday. Elsewhere will see temperatures widely into the high 20s and low 30s Celsius.  

Dr. Justine Shotton, President of the British Veterinary Association, said: “Whilst it’s wonderful to make the most of the warm weather, please don’t forget to give some extra attention to pets, many of whom may struggle as the temperature rises. Animals need extra care during the summer to keep them safe from heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke, heart conditions, breathing difficulties, and sunburn, many of which can sadly be fatal.”

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