Anglian Water has been granted a Drought Permit by the Environment Agency.
The Permit allows the company to take extra water out of the River Nene to top up its Pitsford Water reservoir, from the beginning of December until the end of March, 2012.
Anglian Water has also applied to the Environment Agency for a Drought Permit to allow for extra water to be pumped into Rutland Water, until the end of April 2012. A decision on this latter application is expected in the next few weeks.
Ciaran Nelson, a spokesperson for Anglian Water, said: “It might seem unusual to be talking about drought in Winter, but it’s only by taking action to store water now, in the wetter part of the year, that we can ensure we’ll have enough available in Spring.
“The granting of a Drought Permit for Pitsford, and our application for a permit for Rutland Water, follow successive dry seasons going all the way back to last winter.
According to the Environment Agency, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and West Norfolk have seen their lowest yearly rainfall levels since 1921.
“The record-breaking dry weather has particularly affected the west of the Anglian Water region,” said Ciaran. “Our reservoir at Pitsford is currently just 54% full. This drought permit will enable us to take action now and top up the reservoir, in advance of next spring and summer.
“However, it’s vital we don’t look at this Permit as a complete fix for the drought situation - it’s merely one part of our response. We must continue to do all we can to to save water now, so we have enough available when we need it next year.
“We’ve committed a lot of extra resources to look after our network over the winter, and we’re asking customers to do the same at home. We need to work together to minimise the impact of the water shortage we’re experiencing.”
By taking early action to assist with the refilling of reservoirs in the Winter – rather than waiting until Spring to apply for a Permit – Anglian Water is ensuring that the environmental impact on local rivers is minimised.
For more information on the Drought Permit applications for Pitsford and Rutland Water, see here.