The source of the Thames dries up for the first time during a drought | rivers

The source of the Thames dried up during a drought, and river experts say this is the first time they’ve seen this happen while meteorologists warn of higher temperatures in the future.

The river’s source has shifted from its official starting point outside Cirencester during persistent dry weather and is now more than 5 miles (8 km) downstream.

Dr. Rob Collins, Director of Policy and Science at rivers The Trust said: “After prolonged dry weather, the source of the Thames has dried up in Gloucestershire, with weak flow now only more than 5 miles downstream (in Somerford Keynes).

“With our changing climate, we can anticipate the frequency and severity of these periods of drought and water scarcity, with increased competition for a dwindling resource and devastating effects on aquatic life.”

The Met Office said Thursday that the heat wave and dry weather are showing no signs of abating, with little rain expected next week and temperatures that could rise to the mid-30s.

Met Office Met Chief Steve Wellington said: “Many regions of the UK, particularly the south, will see temperatures several degrees above average, but these values ​​are likely to be well below the record temperatures we saw midway through. . July.

“With increasing high pressure, there is very little massive rain in the forecast, especially in those areas in the south of Englandwhich experienced very dry conditions last month.”

Even as the source of the Thames changes during dry weather, the Thames Water He did not implement restrictions on the use of water such as the ban on water cannons. Instead, it asks users to be wise about their tap water, and to do things like turn off the tap while brushing their teeth. On Wednesday, government sources revealed their frustration with water companies not imposing a ban on water hoses.

Thames Water has warned of the possibility of a ban. The supplier began the first phase of its “dry plan” in May, but warned that the next stage would be to implement a temporary ban on use, including for piping and hoses.

A spokesperson said: “The timing will depend on the amount of water used by our customers, which determines how quickly reservoir storage decreases, and the amount of flow into rivers, which determines the amount of water we can take to refill.”

Collins said water should be used more efficiently in homes and businesses, by implementing nationwide metering and reducing leakage in our supply networks.

He added: “Implementing nature-based solutions that block water – and store and slowly release it into rivers when you need it most – [means] We can become more resilient in the face of this changing climate, ensuring adequate water supplies in the future for both people and wildlife.”

The Times Water was criticized on Wednesday for allegedly stumbling on a A £250m desalination plant was launched 12 years ago To increase the drinking supply during prolonged droughts.

The Thames Water plant in Becton, east London, opened in 2010 with plans to supply up to a million people during emergencies, but that ambition has waned amid doubts over when the facility will start operating.

Despite a heat wave in July and the driest eight-month period since 1976, the Bicton plant won’t start providing drinking water until next year at the earliest.

Statistics from the Met Office showed that July of this year was the driest in England since 1935, and the driest July on record in East Anglia, southeast and southern England.

The UK’s Center for Environment and Hydrology has shown how vulnerable parts of the country are to drought. East Anglia and Kent show the most severe category, ‘extreme drought’, and other local counties and Devon are categorized as ‘extreme drought’.

Cornwall, central England, northern Wales, eastern Scotland and parts of the north-east have experienced a six-month ‘moderate drought’, but this could change if below-average rainfall continues.

South East Water announced this week that Kent and Sussex will be subject to a hosepipe ban from August 12 until further notice, with a £1,000 fine for breaking the rules. Last week, Southern Water said Hampshire and the Isle of Wight would be subject to similar measures starting Friday.