Comment on expected drought announcement

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By George Smeeton

Last updated:

Commenting on expectations that an official drought will soon be declared in England [1], Matt Williams, Climate and Land Programme Lead at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), said:

"It's looking increasingly likely that climate change will tip the UK into an official drought at any moment. An official declaration of drought may however offer little comfort to families already fearing water shortages, to farmers whose crops are failing, and to firefighters potentially facing dangerous wildfires.

"Water shortages will only make the cost of living crisis worse. One of the biggest users of water are fossil fuel power plants that need it for cooling. An energy system with more renewables like wind and solar would be less vulnerable to drought and would bring down energy bills. Meanwhile farmers' crops are dying and their fields catching fire. Failed harvests could push soaring food prices even higher. If droughts and floods get worse, then water companies will need to invest in new infrastructure to deal with them and may have little choice but to pass these costs on through bills.

"The country is facing a triple crisis for water, energy, and food. It is a crisis precipitated by the impacts of climate change and the volatile price of fossil fuels. Families can be protected from shortages and from bills they can't afford through measures to achieve net zero, like replacing expensive gas with cheap renewables and supporting farmers to store more water and carbon on their land."

Notes to editors:

  1. Hosepipe ban: Drought to be declared on Friday, insiders say:

For more information:

George Smeeton, Head of Communications, ECIU, Tel: 07894 571 153, email:

Matt Williams, Climate and Land Programme Lead, ECIU, Tel: 07854 575 690, email: