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Page last updated at 06:38 GMT, Monday, 16 April 2012 07:38 UK

Summer rain 'no effect' on drought

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The Environment Agency has declared a drought in a further 17 English counties and said the shortages could last until Christmas or beyond.

Trevor Bishop, head of water resources at the Environment Agency, told the Today programme's Evan Davis that the rain fall during the spring and summer "almost always has no material effect on replenishing that deficit".

"What we really need to recover this drought situation is steady, sustained, probably slightly above average rainfall right the way through next winter. It's next winter which is key to recovery," he said.


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