Environment Agency pushing to keep rivers flowing in heatwave

This is following one of the driest spells witnessed in some parts of the UK since 1976

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The Environment Agency is taking action to stop rivers in the Northeast of England drying out, during the ongoing heatwave.

This summer has witnessed the hottest temperatures in the UK since records began, as well as the driest spring and summer months since 1996.

In Tees, the last 12 months have represented the driest seen in the region since 1976.

Around 30 megalitres of water have been moved each day for the last fortnight of July from the Kielder reservoir into the River Wear by the Environment Agency to keep the river from drying out.

Last week, the Agency resumed the transfer, as extremely low river levels were detected in nearby Chester-Le-Street.

The transfer is the first in the River Wear for 16 years.

Manager in the Northeast, Rachael Caldwell, said: “River flows across most of the North East are low after a prolonged period of dry weather, and with the warm weather set to continue we expect levels will continue to drop.

“We’re looking at the impacts of dry weather across the region to make sure we can act to preserve water for wildlife and people as we experience extreme weather conditions.”