Reservoir with below normal level of water
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Drought is declared in South East England

Much of southern and eastern England is officially in a state of drought, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced.

Two dry winters have left rivers and reservoirs well below normal levels across Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Sussex, Surrey and Berkshire.

The average rainfall in the South East is 776.8mm (30.6in), but last year's rainfall was well below that at 638.8mm (25.1in).

In parts of south-east England, groundwater levels are lower than in the infamously-dry summer of 1976.

  • 21 Feb 2012