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The water company United Utilities will apply for an official drought order today which will give them permission to take more water than usual from lakes. They have applied to take water from the Lake District reservoirs of Ennerdale and Windermere and from Longdendale Valley reservoir in the Peak District.
John Sanders, spokesman for United Utilities, said: "It's been an unprecedented period of dry weather since December 2009, and we need to take action now so we can tap into available water resources if the dry weather continues."
EA water resources head Trevor Bishop hopes that the official drought status will make people realise that water conservation is a critical issue.
He said: "The situation in north-west England is a reminder that water is a precious resource which we must all use more wisely."
Some seven million people could be facing hosepipe bans and water restrictions within the next few weeks unless rain starts falling again, but since the weather forecast is dry, United Utilities feel they must prepare for the worst.
Mr Sanders said: "We have taken early action to move water around the region to even out supplies, and we are also bringing groundwater reserves into use.
"With the dry weather continuing, there are simple things we can all do to save water like not running the tap while brushing your teeth."Do you think that situations such as this could be avoided if our privatised water companies were more efficient? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.