Drought in London during Olympics?
London, March 13 (IANS) The London Olympics and the Paralympic Games look set to take place amid water restrictions in the city.
A hosepipe ban is set to be enforced from April 5 in London and surrounding areas, where the Olympic Park is and where the majority of the Games venues are.
The drought area where water restrictions are to be enforced covers southeast England and east Anglia, to the northeast of London.
Since records began in 1884, only 1892-1893 and 1920-1921 have seen less rainfall in southeast England.
The British government, through its Department of the Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), announced that the drought was official.
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said Monday: "These temporary restrictions will help protect the public`s water supply in the areas most affected by the record low levels of rainfall we have experienced over the last 17 months."
A spokesperson for Thames Water, which supplies water to London and the surrounding areas, told Xinhua: "We have had an exceptionally dry two years in London and the Thames Valley, receiving below-average rainfall for 19 of the past 24 months."
Thames Water said it had backup resources including the new Thames Gateway desalination plant, which was opened in 2010 and treats tidal water to add greater resilience during long periods of low rainfall.
The facility is capable of putting an additional 150 million liters a day into supply, which is enough to supply one million people, said Thames Water.
Water usage in London is predicted to rise by as much as 120 million litres a day during the July-August Games.
A spokesperson for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) said: "We will be reviewing our contingency plans to ensure all eventualities are covered during the drought but it is not anticipated that this will affect essential Olympic activities."