Friday 5 August 2022 12:49 PM Source of the Thames DRIES UP for the first time, experts warn trends now

Friday 5 August 2022 12:49 PM Source of the Thames DRIES UP for the first time, experts warn trends now
Friday 5 August 2022 12:49 PM Source of the Thames DRIES UP for the first time, experts warn trends now

Friday 5 August 2022 12:49 PM Source of the Thames DRIES UP for the first time, experts warn trends now

With parts of the UK experiencing the driest conditions since the drought of 1976, experts have warned that the source of the River Thames has dried up for the first time on record. 

The source of the river was originally just outside Cirencester, according to The Rivers Trust. 

However, following a continuous period of dry weather, it is now more than five miles downstream, near Somerford Keynes. 

Worryingly, the Met Office has warned of 'very little meaningful rain' on the horizon - with conditions now so extreme that a hosepipe ban affecting one million people across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will come into force at 5pm today. 

The source of the river was originally just outside Cirencester. Pictured: the dried up bed of the River Thames at Kemble in Gloucestershire

The source of the river was originally just outside Cirencester. Pictured: the dried up bed of the River Thames at Kemble in Gloucestershire

The source of the river was originally just outside Cirencester, according to The Rivers Trust. However, following a continuous period of dry weather it is now more than five miles downstream, near Somerford Keynes

The source of the river was originally just outside Cirencester, according to The Rivers Trust. However, following a continuous period of dry weather it is now more than five miles downstream, near Somerford Keynes

UK hosepipe bans come into force today

A hosepipe ban affecting one million people across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight comes into force at 5pm today.

Southern Water begins the 'temporary usage ban' today - a week before South East Water restrictions for Kent and Sussex start, covering 2.2million people. The 85,000 people on the Isle of Man have had a ban since last Friday.

Now, Welsh Water has also announced restrictions for 200,000 customers in Pembrokeshire and a small part of Carmarthenshire from August 19 - with the firm blaming the driest conditions since the drought of 1976.

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Speaking to The Guardian, Dr Rob Collins, director of policy and science at The Rivers Trust, explained: 'Following the prolonged dry weather, the source of the Thames in Gloucestershire has dried up, with a weak flow now only just about discernible more than 5 miles downstream (at Somerford Keynes).

'Under our changing climate we can anticipate the frequency and severity of such periods of drought and water scarcity to intensify, with increasing competition for a dwindling resource and devastating impacts on aquatic life.'

The Met Office has warned there is 'very little meaningful rain' on the horizon for parched areas of England as temperatures are set to climb into the 30s next week.

While it could mean another heatwave - when there are above-average temperatures for three days or more - it is likely conditions will be well below the 40C (104F) seen in some places last month.

Met Office chief forecaster Steve Willington said: 'We could see parts of the UK entering heatwave conditions if the above-average temperatures last for three days or more. 

'Many areas of the UK, especially the south will witness temperatures several degrees higher than

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