Thames source dries up for the first time, experts warn

With parts of the UK experiencing the driest conditions since the 1976 drought, experts have warned that the source of the River Thames has dried up for the first time on record.

According to The Rivers Trust, the source of the river was originally near Cirencester.

However, after an extended period of dry weather, it is now more than five miles downstream, near Somerford Keynes.

Unfortunately, with office warned of “very little significant rain” on the horizon – with conditions now so extreme that a hose ban, affecting one million people in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, will go into effect today at 5 p.m.

The source of the river was originally located near Cirencester. Pictured: The dry bed of the Thames at Kemble in Gloucestershire.

According to The Rivers Trust, the source of the river was originally near Cirencester.  However, after an extended period of dry weather, it is now more than five miles downstream, near Somerford Keynes.

According to The Rivers Trust, the source of the river was originally near Cirencester. However, after an extended period of dry weather, it is now more than five miles downstream, near Somerford Keynes.

Hose bans come into effect in the UK from today

The hose ban goes into effect today at 5:00 pm, affecting one million people in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Southern Water is implementing a “temporary use ban” today – a week ahead of South East Water restrictions for Kent and Sussex, which cover 2.2 million people. 85,000 people on the Isle of Man have been locked down since last Friday.

Now Welsh Water has also announced restrictions for 200,000 customers in Pembrokeshire and a small part of Carmarthenshire from 19 August, with the firm blaming the driest conditions since the 1976 drought.

Speaking with The keeperDr Rob Collins, director of policy and science at The Rivers Trust, explained: “After prolonged dry weather, the head of the Thames in Gloucestershire has dried up and a faint stream is now barely visible more than 5 miles downstream (in Somerford Keynes).

“With our changing climate, we can expect the frequency and severity of such periods of drought and water scarcity to increase, with increased competition for dwindling resources and devastating impacts on aquatic life.”

The Met Office warned that “very little meaningful rain” is expected on the horizon of England’s drylands as temperatures soar to 30 degrees next week.

While this could mean another wave of heat – with temperatures above average for three or more days – it is likely that conditions will be well below the 40°C (104F) seen in some places last month.

Met Office Chief Forecaster Steve Willington said: “We could see parts of the UK hit by heatwaves if above-average temperatures continue for three days or more.

“Many parts of the UK, especially in the south, will be a few degrees above average, but these values ​​are likely to be well below the record temperatures we saw in mid-July.

Water level decline at Ardingly Reservoir in West Sussex, owned and operated by South East Water, pictured yesterday.

Water level decline at Ardingly Reservoir in West Sussex, owned and operated by South East Water, pictured yesterday.

Scorched earth around the Burley Cricket Club stadium in the New Forest yesterday ahead of Hampshire's hose ban.

Scorched earth around the Burley Cricket Club stadium in the New Forest yesterday ahead of Hampshire’s hose ban.

“As high pressure builds, very little significant rain is forecast, especially in areas in the south of England that experienced very dry conditions last month.

“Elsewhere in the UK, such as northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, rain-bearing weather fronts will move in a limited fashion against high pressure, bringing rain to the northwest parts of the UK.”

The hose ban goes into effect today at 5:00 pm, affecting one million people in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Southern Water is implementing a “temporary use ban” today – a week ahead of South East Water restrictions for Kent and Sussex, which cover 2.2 million people. 85,000 people on the Isle of Man have been locked down since last Friday.

Now Welsh Water has also announced restrictions for 200,000 customers in Pembrokeshire and a small part of Carmarthenshire from 19 August, with the firm blaming the driest conditions since the 1976 drought.

Some 17 million more people in other parts of England could soon be affected by further bans after Thames Water and South West Water warned they may soon have to impose restrictions, affecting 15 million customers in London and the Thames Valley, as well as around. two million in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.

This would mean that a total of 20.5 million people could be affected by water restrictions in England. If it remains in place, the number of people under the ban from today will be 1.1 million, rising to 3.3 million next Friday.

The temporary Welsh Water ban announced yesterday will mean customers in the affected areas will not be allowed to water plants, wash cars or hose down windows. Violators of the rules can be fined up to £1,000.

The Met Office says it’s too early to tell how long the hot spell will last.

However, it is reassuring that “there are signs of a return to more volatile conditions from around mid-August.”

FAQ: Where are hoses prohibited and what can happen if I break them?

Where were hose bans introduced?

  • Manx water: Isle of Man, since last Friday
  • south water: Hampshire and Isle of Wight, from today
  • southeast water: Kent and Sussex, from next Friday.
  • Welsh water: Pembrokeshire and a small part of Carmarthenshire, from 19 August.

What are the rules?

Once the ban goes into effect, you will not be allowed to use a hose or sprinkler to water your garden, wash your car or boat, fill a swimming pool, paddling pool, or pond. Pressure washing of the terrace is also prohibited. But the use of a watering can is allowed.

Who is released?

Persons with disabilities who have a blue badge are exempt from watering their garden. As well as those who water the area for a national or international sporting event.

People who water freshly laid lawn and newly purchased plants may apply for an exemption.

The ban does not apply to commercial car washes and professional window cleaners.

What happens if I break the ban?

If found guilty, you can be prosecuted and fined up to £1,000 in court.