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Drought Fears for Cornwall

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7:01am 12th April 2012

Pirate FM has learnt Cornwall could be hit by a drought.

It is understood the Environment Agency could declare one as soon as next week.

There are reports underground supplies are low after a dry winter.

South West Water says it is "confident" we will not face any restrictions such as a hosepipe ban, with our reservoirs 84% full. Spokesman Neil Whiter said, "There are no guarantees that's why we constantly monitor the situation, taking water from places where it's reasonably plentiful and transferring it to places that have less water. That flexibility really makes a tremendous difference.

"We always like to emphasise the value of water to our customers and ask them to just think about their use of water. It is a precious resource which we must all be aware of".

Cornish farmers are already struggling, with some saying average rainfall is down.

Martin Howlett has cattle and sheep at Callington. He said, "We haven't seen a drastic effect as yet and the rain at the moment is welcome, however it's a long way short of what we're needing. In this area we are expecting an average annual rainfall of around sixty inches. We've probably had only less than twenty-five percent of that so far this year.

"You need maximum growth. You need to have good quality growth in terms of the feed that you make for next winter. All these are part and parcel of the seasons that we go through and a lack of rain for any length of time, particularly after a very dry winter, that has all played its part in building up the reserves".

7:01am 12th April 2012

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