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Photo of a clear blue skyOver recent years the UK has had earlier and hotter summers, which have brought droughts and hosepipe bans with them. Water levels have not been replenished properly, causing great problems in providing the amount of water that consumers and industry are used to.

A drought is a prolonged period without rainfall, leading to the depletion of stored water reserves. During a drought, restrictions are placed on the use of water and this may lead to the disruption of the water supply and the use of stand-pipes. Water restrictions are becoming normal within the south-east of England. In an extreme drought, this may start to affect the ability to perform basic household functions.

There are powers available to the water companies, that have a commitment to provide a sufficient level of water to each household, to ensure that this can be done. Medway Council works closely with the water companies and is in regular discussion with them to provide a high level of co-operation to prepare a response to the effects of a drought.

The Environment Agency has more information on drought.

A drought may be caused by a heat wave.