I am disappointed but not surprised that a few warm days without rain and the water industry is already saying we need to be careful about use. Hosepipe bans are being introduced in some places.
This winter January, March and April all saw rainfall well above average. It was a wet and cold winter, with February and March well below average temperatures of the last 40 years. I remember urging the industry to collect enough of the large quantities of rainwater and snow melt that we experienced just in case we got a hot summer.
From the forecast and the temperatures so far this is not going to be re run of the very hot and dry 1976 nor of the even drier 1995. It is a bit more like a hot summer of yesteryear than some more recent overcast and cooler summers. We need to plan for these events, as they are well within our range of experience. Water is a glamorous growth product. As people get better off so they want to use more water to wash their cars, water their gardens, fill their children’s paddling pools and take more showers when it’s hot. As water is an entirely renewable resource, the industry needs to put in enough capacity to meet our needs. The industry needs to remember that in parts of the country like the south east the population is growing quickly, which means the need for more piped water.