The trickle of water left in this parched reservoir shows just why hosepipe bans could soon be in force in parts of Britain.
With the longest heatwave in 42 years set to last another week, Wayoh near Edgworth, Lancs – which supplies nearly 200,000 people in Bolton – has been left looking like a desert.
Cracks in its dried mud were big enough to reach into.
Wayoh’s owner, United Utilities, has warned that three million homes could be hit with a hosepipe ban within days if demand does not fall in the North West.
A ban would stop people watering their gardens as well as cleaning cars, and filling garden ponds and paddling pools.
Hosepipe bans have already come into effect in Northern Ireland to preserve supplies.
In north Herefordshire, the Environment Agency rescued more than 130 trout and salmon from the dry bed of the River Teme.
However, Water UK, which represents suppliers, has ruled out restrictions in other parts of the country thanks to above average rainfalls this spring.
Southern England yesterday enjoyed temperatures up to 88F (31C), making it hotter than the Seychelles at 80F (27C).
Today there will be similar highs in the South, with the North a couple of degrees cooler.
Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey said temperatures in some areas could reach 91F (33C) today.
She said: “We could well see the hottest day of the year so far.” The latest hot spell began on June 24.
Meanwhile, the biggest names in stand-up paddle boarding took to the River Thames for the opening day of London’s first SUP Open between Battersea Park and Westminster Bridge. Michael Booth (Australia) took No.1 spot for the men, with Yuka Sato (Japan) the first female across the line.
Drought-like conditions have prompted warnings that shops could run short of fresh vegetables, with carrots, brassicas and root vegetables particularly badly hit.
After the wet, cold spring, some crops have stopped growing altogether while rocketing demand for salad produce has added to the supply problems, says the British Growers Association.
Hot weather advice
Meanwhile, there was plenty of water in Birmingham yesterday –but rain had nothing to do with it.
Cars were left submerged and 100 homes cut off as a burst water main flooded streets in the Newtown area of the city.
The heatwave record was set in 1976 when there were two 18-day periods of unbroken temperatures of 29C or above.
Nearly 20 acres of land were scorched after a burning bird fell from an electric power line and set fire to a field in Rostock, Germany.
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