Minister for Climate Change Julie James is appealing to everyone in Wales to be conscious of their water use as we approach summer.
In a statement to the Senedd (18 May 2023), the Minister confirmed that Wales’ Drought Liaison Group – consisting of water companies, Natural Resources Wales, the Met Office and other partners – has officially started meeting to plan ahead for all weather scenarios.
A particularly dry February this year was followed by the wettest March in forty years, with Wales experiencing double the long-term average rainfall. This has been good news for reservoirs, rivers and groundwater supply as stocks under pressure have been replenished.
Unfortunately, the group says, this doesn’t mean Wales can rest on its laurels.
Weather is difficult to predict and climate change means that we face wetter winters, drier summers, rising sea levels, and more frequent and intense extreme weather events.
Between March and September 2022, Wales received just 64% of the long-term average rainfall for this period, making it the driest seven-month period in 150 years. This placed significant pressures on water infrastructure and supply, wildlife and habitats, and the agriculture sector, leading to a declaration of drought. Back-to-back years of continuous droughts will decrease resilience year on year leading to ever worsening situations.
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