East Anglia is particularly parched this summer after it saw just two thirds of its normal rainfall in the first half of this year, making it the region’s driest half-year period since 1996

East Anglia is particularly parched this summer after it saw just two thirds of its normal rainfall in the first half of this year, making it the region’s driest half-year period since 1996

As they attempt to keep crops completely hydrated in the face of soaring fuel, energy, and fertilizer prices during the heatwave gripping Britain, farmers today warned of a “major challenge” posed by record-breaking dry weather.

East Anglia is unusually dry this summer because the region’s first half of 2022 had only two-thirds of its average rainfall, making it the region’s driest six-month period since 1996 and the eleventh driest since records have been kept in 1836.

While millions of families in Yorkshire have been encouraged to decrease water use or face the possibility of a hosepipe ban, several rivers in the area are drying up, such as the River Waveney, which is at only 30% of its typical flow.

One farmer on the border of Norfolk and Suffolk said this season’s electrical costs for pumping water around his crop fields had already increased to $250,000 from his regular budget of £80,000.

But due to the extra 25% to 30% of water, he must pump as a result of the extremely dry weather, this is now expected to rise to £300,000.

As turmoil is predicted to affect transportation networks, the NHS, and other services, the Met Office has extended its excessive heat warning for the majority of England and Wales to stretch from Sunday through the end of next Tuesday.

However, there will be a brief reprieve as today is projected to be the first day since July 9 that temperatures in the UK have not reached at least 30C (86F), with highs of 27C (81F) to 29C (84F) predicted for the period from tonight to Saturday.

However, the amber alert then starts at midnight on Saturday night, with highs of 31C (88F) predicted on Sunday before the hottest days of the week, when temperatures of up to 38C (100F) are anticipated in London.

Despite the heat, June 17, when 32.7C (90.9F) was measured in London, continues to hold the record for the hottest day of 2022 so far. The UK’s record high temperature was 38.7C (101.6F) on July 15, 2019, in Cambridge.

According to the Met Office, there is a 20% possibility the record will be broken, down from a 30% likelihood earlier this week.

We grow winter cereals here, which are wheat and barley, and we grow sugar beet for a British Sugar factory that is nearby in Bury St. Edmonds, according to Andrew Blenkiron, director of the Euston Estate near Thetford and chairman of the National Farmers Union in Suffolk, who was speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today program this morning.

We also grow 1,200 acres of irrigated root crops, such as parsnips, potatoes, carrots, and onions.

Keeping those crops well-watered is our current major challenge to ensure that they meet market requirements and produce a yield.

We began irrigating our crops here quite early this year at the start of April, but the last two weeks have seen such high evapotranspiration rates that water has simply flowed through the crops.

According to him, there have been three major cost increases: a tripling of fertilizer costs, a tripling of electricity costs related to pumping all that water around, and a doubling of fuel costs for the tractors used to plant, harvest, and care for the crops.

Regarding the price of power, Mr Blenkiron stated, “In a typical season, we budget roughly £80,000 for it.” I had to boost my budget this season by £250,000, or a threefold increase.

The difficulty that’s on my mind is that the extra 25 to 30 per cent water that we currently have to pump around will lead the electric bill to be well over £300,000.

Since the contracts for root crops were established before both the recent spike in gas prices and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he continued, stores are “not that thrilled to boost their pricing,”, particularly for those crops.

When contracts are renegotiated in the fall, Mr Blenkiron expressed the hope that farmers would have the ability to raise prices.

He continued, “What’s going to happen this next season if we don’t see some reasonably strong increases in our prices that people just won’t plant those crops next year.”

They’ll switch to another crop, perhaps a winter grain, meaning there will be far less risk and investment per acre.

Customers should avoid leaving taps running and take shorter showers, according to water company executives.

Yorkshire, where five million people have received urgent advice to reduce their usage, is considered to have the biggest water difficulties.

According to Yorkshire Water’s Neil Dewis, supplies had to be transported to the region by hundreds of tankers since reservoir storage had fallen to levels last seen in 1995.

He stated that limitations like a ban on hosepipes could not be ruled out and referred to them as “simply one of the instruments” the business may employ.

Thames Water also asked customers in London to use less, offering advice like taking shorter showers and using watering cans rather than hosepipes to keep gardens green.

According to its demand reduction manager, Andrew Tucker, “while we’re not currently anticipating introducing limitations on water consumption this summer, it’s crucial that households stay responsible with their usage and enable us to lessen the burden on our resources.”

Although there hasn’t been a hosepipe ban in effect for households in England and Wales in ten years, South East Water did ask customers to stop using them during a heatwave in 2020.

Lee Dance, the organization’s director of water resources, asserted yesterday that the reservoir and groundwater supplies were still enough.

He advised customers to “do their part by using water sensibly so that we can continue to keep water flowing to everyone,” as home usage had increased by 50% during the hot spell.

Yesterday was the fourth day in a row that temperatures exceeded 30C (86F), with the highest reading being 30.1C (86.2F) at Gosport, Hampshire.

Following 32C (90F) in London on Monday, 30.1C (86.2F) last Sunday, 27.5C (81.5F) last Saturday, and 29.3C (84.7F) last Friday, Surrey experienced a high of 31.7C (89.1F) on Tuesday.

While donkeys at a refuge in Devon were given grass that had been frozen into ice blocks, wildlife continued to wither in the heat, with tales of swift chicks falling to the ground.

From Sunday onward, sleep is likely to be challenging once more due to a stretch of “tropical evenings” where temperatures don’t go below 20C. (68F).

In some places in England, both Monday night and Tuesday night fit into this group.

The Met Office’s Annie Shuttleworth warned of a lengthy period of hot weather and extremely hot nights.

Where there is an excessive heat warning, in addition to the scorching daytime temperatures, it is likely to be warm at night, which makes it difficult to fall asleep.

No one will likely like the cumulative effects of several miserable nights in a succession, so it doesn’t appear to be just one.

In response, unions have asked businesses to permit employees to work from home or to finish up early so they won’t become too hot at their workstations or during the daily commute, prompting charges of “Snowflake Britain.”

In preparation for the anticipated extreme heat, the Met Office and UK Health Security Agency have issued “risk to life” alerts.

A cheese market in Chiswick, West London, a dog show in Bude, Cornwall, a school fair in Steeple Bumpstead, Essex, and a carnival in Hungerford, Berkshire have already been cancelled as a result.

To help those who are sleeping rough, London Mayor Sadiq Khan initiated a severe weather emergency response, which is generally started when it gets below freezing in the winter.

And with ambulance trusts already on high alert, governments and authorities are developing measures with the NHS and councils to protect against the heatwave.

A health minister said that the government is “making sure that all NHS trusts are prepared” for the heatwave, despite the ambulance services being under “the sort of pressures we would ordinarily expect to see in winter.”

It’s “very alarming for the months ahead,” health minister Maria Caulfield said in a statement to the Commons yesterday.

She added that she will be visiting with “all 11 ambulance trusts over the coming days to make sure that they have the capacity and resilience they need.”

In response to a pressing question from Labour regarding ambulance services and the declaration of a national heatwave emergency, she continued, “In terms of urgency, we have procured a contract for an auxiliary ambulance service with a total value of £30million which will provide national surge capacity if needed to support the ambulance response during periods of increased pressure.”

So, if we need it, it’s there.

Wes Streeting, the shadow secretary for health, claimed that while “severe weather” has increased the strain on emergency services, “it is 12 years of Conservative underfunding that has left them unable to cope.”

Ms Caulfield responded to Labour’s Steve McCabe’s query over the “awful situation” by saying, “He’s exactly right, they are at record pressure.”

‘These are the kinds of pressures that we would typically expect to see in winter, and we’re seeing them in the summer months, which is generally their period.

It’s quite worrying for the months ahead as we do approach winter.

“24 Hours in A&E Used to Be a (Reality) TV Program, Now It’s Government Policy,” said Labour’s Naz Shah.

According to Ms Caulfield, “I will be meeting with all 11 ambulance trusts over the coming days to ensure that they have the capacity and resilience they need to prepare for the winter pressures that we know will be inevitable and forthcoming in addition to dealing with the pressures with the warm weather now and in the future.”

We are making sure that all NHS trusts are prepared, she added, adding that she has laid out a heatwave plan for England that was released earlier this year.

After thousands of people in Kent were left without water during the hottest week of the year due to burst pipes, residents of the Isle of Sheppey should expect their water supply to resume today.

On Tuesday, two major pipes leading to the island off the coast of Kent ruptured, damaging 24,000 houses and closing 12 schools.

Southern Water set up bottle-filling stations, and tankers were dispatched to serve Sheppey Community Hospital.

This morning, Southern Water said in a statement that supplies should resume by noon, but warned consumers to expect hazy water and poor pressure.

Stations selling bottled water will be open all day.

We’re happy to confirm that clients on the Isle of Sheppey should now start to notice their water supply restored, a spokeswoman said.

Depending on where you are located and which reservoir provides your supply, this will happen gradually during the morning.

Customers will continue to experience low pressure when the situation returns to normal because demand is, obviously, quite strong.

Your taps’ discoloured water is typical following a supply outage.

“This is often transient and goes away once the network stabilizes.”

If the water is white and hazy, try putting it in a glass and seeing if it helps it clear up.

This is water that has air trapped in it from the pipes filling up again.

“Run your tap for a few minutes if the water is brown or dark, and it should clean up.”

Turn off the tap, wait 20 minutes, and try again if this doesn’t work. When your water flows clearly, you can use it as usual.

“Avoid using dishwashers, washing machines, or any other water-consuming appliances when your tap water is discoloured brown or black.” You may flush the toilet.

Running the taps for a brief period can help get water through airlocks that occasionally form after a network has been emptied, either in our pipes or those of our customers.