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UK drought warning after dry start to year

June 25, 2010 at 12:53 pm

It seems that nearly every summer the same headlines start to appear about the UK’s water problem. But this year it could be especially bad. A drought warning has already been issued after it was revealed that the start to 2010 has been the driest for nearly half a century.

The figures are worrying. The first five months of 2010 saw the lowest rainfall levels since 1964. The average rainfall from January to May was 318.9 mm compared to the long-term average of 424.1 mm. Back in 1964 the figure was 307.99 mm.

And things do not look as if they are going to improve any time soon, with June and July also set to be dry months according to forecasters.

The problem is made even worse due to the fact that winter rainfall is essential for restocking reservoirs and groundwater supplies. The spring and summer are not so good for this because a lot of the water that falls evaporates.

The northwest has been the hardest hit area of the country. Although this is usually one of the wettest areas in the UK, it has just experienced the driest five months since before the Second World War, which is particularly worrying.

But the problem is nationwide, with low water levels being witnessed across the whole country.

It is now thought that a hosepipe ban will be enforced soon. And water suppliers are asking all their customers to be especially careful with how much water they use, and to try to start using water-saving measures and devices in order to save as much water as possible.

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Water fountains disappearing across UK

June 11, 2010 at 3:57 am

Water fountains in public parks provide free, clean water and have been a part of Britain’s parks for decades. But now research has been carried out that has revealed, worryingly, that only 11% of parks in the UK have water fountains in them.

Out of this 11%, only two thirds of these had water fountains that actually functioned. And out of the 140 parks that were studied, there were only eight in which all the fountains were working.

Campaigners have highlighted that this is a huge problem for children because if water is not freely available in our parks then this will encourage them to drink more fizzy drinks.

The study was carried out as part of the Children’s Food Campaign, which is backed by the BMA, the National Union of Teachers and Friends of the Earth. It wants to see free drinking water in every public park in the UK.

The sample of parks was taken from all over the UK, with 127 parks surveyed in England, eight in Scotland, two in Wales and two in Northern Ireland. It has to be remembered that this only makes up 3% of the total parks across the UK as a whole, but it is a worrying figure nonetheless.

The head of science and ethics at the British Medical Association, Dr Vivienne Nathanson, said that children are more susceptible to dehydration than adults, and that “it is essential children readily have access to free, safe drinking water in schools and public parks”.

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