A DROUGHT has been declared in parts of southern England as temperatures rose above 30C in Sussex.
Parts of south-west, south, east and central England have been placed on drought status by the Environment Agency, including all of Sussex, as reservoirs across the country have dried up.
Eight of the agency’s 14 regions across England have been given status, including the Solent and South Downs, as well as Kent, South London and East Sussex.
The announcement means domestic and commercial water use is likely to be curtailed to conserve water as dry conditions persist and temperatures remain high.
It comes after the Met Office confirmed Sussex experienced its driest July on record and a hose ban comes into effect for some South East Water customers in the county.
Water Secretary Steve Double has tried to reassure the public, saying basic services are safe.
He said: “We are better prepared than ever for droughts, but we will continue to closely monitor the situation, including the impact on farmers and the environment, and take further action as necessary.”
Large parts of Sussex, including Chichester, Haywards Heath, Uckfield and parts of the South Downs face “exceptionally severe” wildfires over the weekend, according to the Met Office.
Firefighters across the country have had to battle multiple fires that have broken out in fields in recent days.
West and East Sussex Fire Services have urged the public not to host barbecues or bonfires in grassland areas or throw cigarettes from car windows due to the risk of wildfires being started in dry weather.
The West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said it has attended 32 grassland fires since July, a third since earlier this month alone.
Temperatures are expected to hit 31C today, with warm weather expected to last through the end of the week. However, some light showers are forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday.
Southern Water has been contacted for comment.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20626502.drought-declared-across-sussex-warm-weather-continues/?ref=rss Drought declared across Sussex as warm weather continues