LONDON, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Much of England remains under the threat of drought with bans looming on washing cars, watering gardens and filling swimming pools, officials said.
The Environment Agency said that if the dry weather continues it could affect river navigation and force water restrictions on farmers, The Daily Telegraph reported. The area involved includes parts of the Midlands, East Anglia and southeastern England.
"Groundwater recovery is very slow and soil moisture deficits increased this week, meaning soils are still dry for the time of year," the agency said Friday in its January Drought Management briefing.
Officials said the area faces a difficult summer unless rainfall increases sharply for the rest of the winter. Several water companies have already been allowed to ask customers to limit water use.
Sussex residents were asked to refrain from taking baths during the Christmas holidays, substituting short showers.