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U.K. Says 19 Counties Drop Drought Status After Rainfall

Nineteen U.K. counties were removed from drought status after recent record-breaking rainfall, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said.

Areas of England from the West Midlands to Cornwall may no longer face temporary restrictions on water use this year, and there is “no threat to the public water supply in these areas this summer,” Defra said today on its website. Parts of southeast England, East Anglia and London are still in drought and may have water restrictions, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said in the statement.

Rains that persisted in May after the wettest April on record have “significantly increased river and reservoir levels,” the Environment Agency said in a separate report today. Groundwater is still low in many areas after below-average precipitation in the past two years, and the agency said it “will keep the drought status under continuous review.”

“The recent rainfall has been good for many crops, but has damaged others,” the Environment Agency said. “The rain has significantly reduced the requirement for irrigation.”

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