Warwickshire preparing for 2012 drought warnings

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WARWICKSHIRE is at high risk of suffering a drought next year, according to a new report.

Graeme Smith, Chair of Warwickshire Prepared, the local resilience forum which brings together those agencies which plan and respond to emergencies has spoken about Warwickshire’s high risk of drought next year.

The Environment Agency, one of the Warwickshire Prepared partners, has produced a report that gives an early indication of drought prospects through winter 2011 into spring 2012. This report shows that parts of the Midlands, including Shropshire, Warwickshire, parts of Staffordshire and Leicestershire, are at high risk of suffering a drought in 2012.

The Midlands has had the driest 12 month period from October to September since records began in 1910. Below average rainfall over the winter would put the county at a higher risk of drought for 2012.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “The ongoing dry weather and very dry soils in central, eastern and southern England means groundwater levels are continuing to decline. To reverse this decline we require substantial and prolonged rainfall.”

Graeme Smith, chair of Warwickshire Prepared and Chief Fire Officer for Warwickshire, said: “There is nothing that we can do about the weather. That is out of our hands.

“However, by knowing what might happen, we can plan to minimise the effects of any adverse conditions and cushion ourselves from the worse effects.

“The forum has noted the Environment Agency’s warnings and will be ready with measures if and when the drought conditions make themselves felt.

”As well as encouraging people to be careful with their use of water, we have a range of information on staying safe in drought conditions.’

Further information on how to prepare for emergencies can be found at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/prepared.

The full report on drought prospects can be found at http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/drought