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Page last updated at 07:48 GMT, Monday, 20 February 2012

English drought: Hosepipe ban 'likely'

The environment secretary is to hold crisis talks as the prospect of drought looms ever larger.

Caroline Spelman will meet water companies, the Environment Agency, Natural England, British Waterways, the Met Office, environmental NGOs and farming groups on Monday to discuss how to mitigate the impact of persistent dry conditions.

Parts of south and eastern England have been affected by drought for some months and water firms are warning hosepipe bans may be needed.

Ms Spelman told the Today programme's Sarah Montague that the public water supply was "likely to be affected" unless there was significant rainfall soon.

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