Water supplies reviewed following emergency summit

The Environment Agency is to review the country's water supplies and drought plans following an emergency "drought summit" held by environment secretary Caroline Spelman this week.

The HTA, NFU, Environment Agency, Water UK, UK Irrigation Association and Natural England were among those at the meeting. They developed an action plan in case the prolonged dry spell continues.

Spelman said: "We're not in a drought yet, although the severity of dry conditions differs from place to place. I have asked the Environment Agency to report next week on the likelihood of a drought in the longer term, and how it might affect our farmers.

"Water companies are continuing to monitor the situation and are confident of maintaining supplies, partly because the industry has improved its resilience.

"But this shouldn't make us complacent - the Environment Agency, together with the water industry, are going to provide me with an update on water supplies."

NFU president Peter Kendall added: "While some farmers are benefiting from these conditions, many others are increasingly being affected. A return to normal conditions now will still result in a significant drop in yield at harvest time."

The group will meet again next month if the situation has not changed.

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