Water firm warns of drought as rivers and reservoir dry up

Tring reservoir.
Tring reservoir.

HOUSEHOLDERS are warned to cut their water use as rivers dry up ahead of a potential drought.

A week ago, our photographer Dave Satchel took a photo of the dried-up River Bulbourne near its Dudswell source in Northchurch (12-147 (4)).

The River Bulbourne at Northchurch.

The River Bulbourne at Northchurch.

But since then it has dried up even as far away as Berkhamsted due to the lack of rainfall in the area. There have also been reports of the River Gade running dry in its upper reaches.

Tring Reservoir, which feeds into the Grand Union Canal is usually full to the brim with water – but now looks as if it’s more than a quarter empty

Mike Pocock, resources manager for Veolia Water, said: “The last eighteen months have been exceptionally dry with rainfall patterns consistent to those seen during times of drought.”

The autumn and winter had just 60 per cent of the normal rainfall for that time of year. It had just 65 per cent of it in the same time the year before.

Mr Pocock said: “Even with the wettest weather over the next few months we will not see conditions improve hugely for the spring.

“We ask our customers to help us prepare now for a dry summer next year, and avoid possible restrictions.”

The Tring Summit of the Grand Union Canal has been closed to through passage by British Waterways to prevent water seeping into the soil.

Spokesman Jonathan Ludford said: “It has just not been raining. We need to make sure the water we have lasts.”