The Environment Agency (EA) has urged farmers and businesses to take responsibility for water storage as extreme weather occurs more often in the UK.
The figures show that last year one in every five days saw flooding and one in every four days were in drought with hosepipe bans affecting over 20 million people. There were also over 6000 flood warnings issued last year.
The climate change, it is said could reduce river flows by up to 80% during summer months in the next 40 years, which would affect water supplies.
The EA have suggested that increasing the number of water storage reservoirs would secure more reliable water supply for irrigation, used by farmers. There are currently around 1,700 small scale storage reservoirs across England and Wales that supplies 30% of total irrigation needs.
Lord Smith, chairman of the EA, said last years’ unusual weather highlighted the need for action. “More of this extreme weather will exacerbate many of the problems that we already deal with including flooding and water scarcity, so taking action today to prepare and adapt homes, businesses, agricultural practices and infrastructure is vital,” he said.