Is hosepipe ban ahead due to spring drought?

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RISK of drought is at its highest for years and could lead to a hose pipe ban next spring.

This warning from Veolia Water comes as the firm plans ahead on a strategy to deal with a potential dry spell.

Veolia Water’s strategy manager Mike Pocock, said: “We have had remarkably dry weather over recent weeks with our water reserves drying up. There is a risk that there could be a hose pipe ban next year.”

He said a drought could begin as early as spring 2012 – and the risk is at its highest for about five years.

The Gazette reported earlier this year that parts of the River Bulbourne dried up during an unusually dry autumn.

Veolia Water extracts water from a borehole near the River Bulbourne and the River Gade, but claims this has no “direct impact” on river flows.

Mr Pocock said: “The only way you could keep water going at all times is to support the rivers artificially.

“Both the Gade and Bulbourne are affected quite strongly by canal flow. They were greatly affected by the construction of the canal, which affects water flows in that area.”

He said the flow of the two rivers is affected by the use of the canal’s locks.

Veolia Water has launched a consultation on its plans to deal with a potential drought, which can be found at www.veoliawater.co.uk/droughtplanconsultation

Possible measures include pulling in water supplies from a different area in the case of a localised drought.

Mr Pocock added: “It is a document that includes a lot of detail and we try to make it as straightforward as we can.”

He says the company could sit down with community groups to explain the details.

For more information, email Veolia on waterresources@veoliawater.co.uk