The National Drought Group (NDG), which advises the government, has cautioned that Britain is only one hot spell away from falling back into drought conditions. The water shortage is likely to impact the availability of vegetables as major supermarkets place widespread restrictions on the purchase of selected fresh produce.
The latest figures from the Environment Agency show that as of 21 February, England had received 17 per cent of the long-term average for the month. In the southeast, the figure was lower at 9 per cent. Government officials and water companies had hoped for a wet February to help to recharge rivers and reservoirs before the weather turns warmer and drier.
The Met Office said: “Up to 20 February, you'd expect to have around 71 per cent of the month's total average rainfall. However, the UK has currently had just 36 per cent (34.5mm) so far. While Scotland has so far had 59 per cent (83.5mm) of its average February rainfall, the south of England has had just 6 per cent (3.8mm).”