THE MP for Penrith and The Borders has expressed concern over the potential impact of a looming drought on the farming and visitor sectors across the Lake District.

A government committee meeting, held by the National Drought Group last week, revealed reservoir levels throughout the Lakes have dropped significantly over the recent period of dry spring and early summer weather, raising concerns about water levels.  

Haweswater and Thirlmere were noted as areas of particular concern, due to decrease of 13 per cent in reservoir stocks between the end of April and end of May 2023.

The Environment Agency confirmed Cumbria is not in drought but in a period moving into prolonged dry weather status.

According to leaked minutes of the meeting revealed by The Guardian, the group warned of 'emerging risks [to water supply]’ in Cumbria.

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said the rising issue is a ‘testament to the failings of United Utilities’, whilst calling for anyone who receives a hosepipe ban to receive a discount on their bills.

Dr Neil Hudson said it's important United Utilities ‘get on top of the issue’.

"This is potentially very worrying news for the farming and visitor sectors that are so integral to Cumbria's economy,” he said.

"A drought coming to the wettest parts of England is a worrying portent for our climate and I will continue to push ahead with our Conservative Government's ambitious green agenda. 

“Our Commons EFRA Committee, on which I sit, is having an emergency public session on July 12 to quiz Thames Water, Ofwat and the Water Minister on issues facing the country and specifically water companies across the country moving forward. It is important that United Utilities get on top of this issue.

"I was proud to welcome the Government's Plan for Water in April which designated more than £1.6 billion of new accelerated investment to ensure a plentiful water supply for future generations. I understand work is progressing at pace but clearly this is a warning that we must continue pushing for progressive action on water before we face major problems."

A spokesperson for United Utilities said: “We have seen a period of dry weather in Cumbria and this has seen reservoir levels drop below where we’d normally expect them to be at this time of year. 

"However, we can use our regional network of water resources and water pipes to move supplies to where they are needed.

"We will continue to closely monitor reservoir levels but whatever the weather, we always encourage people to use water wisely, which saves energy and money and is good for the environment. Customers can visit our website for tips on how to save more water," they said.