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UK Wildlife Hammered By Worst Drought In 100 Years - Independent

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-10-06 01:05 PM
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UK Wildlife Hammered By Worst Drought In 100 Years - Independent
The summer drought has generated more than 100 reports of serious effects on wildlife ranging from distressed fish and dead ducks to toxic algal blooms. Water courses in England and Wales are running dry, rivers are silting up and trees are shedding their leaves far earlier than normal because of the dry weather.

As rivers dry up, low levels of water and oxygen have caused fish to gasp for air, turned ponds green and stranded several types of aquatic insects, according to the Environment Agency (EA). After two dry winters and a hot, dry summer, the environmental impacts of possibly the worst drought in 100 years are beginning to be seen across the country, said David King, the EA's director of water management.

"This drought is not only affecting people in the way we use water; we've seen 21 months of below-average rain and the environment is suffering too," he said. "We're seeing ponds and rivers drying up, fish becoming stranded and algal blooms. At first, we couldn't see the impact of the drought around us, as the real problems were low groundwater levels in the South-east. "But the continued lack of rainfall, low water levels and recent high temperatures have put pressure on the environment right across England and Wales."

The EA warned that if the drought conditions continued into a third winter, the effects will be even more dramatic. "We respond immediately to reports of environmental incidents increasing oxygen levels in water and monitoring water levels," said Dr King. "But sometimes we can all take it for granted that the water that comes out of our taps ultimately comes from somewhere in our environment."

EDIT

http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article121806...
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