England experienced an unusually dry winter and spring, made worse by the driest July since 1935, if ever recorded in the south.
Hinting at a worsening, the Met Office on Tuesday issued a heat orange alert for the south of England and east Wales between Thursday and Sunday, with temperatures reaching 35 to 36 degrees Celsius.
The heat is expected to remain less extreme than in July, when a peak temperature was recorded at over 40 degrees, unheard of in the UK.
In the south, the weather "will remain dry all week, bringing no respite for parched land, especially in the south-east", the Met Office warned.
Faced with the extreme conditions, the state of drought has not yet been declared, but local restrictions (prohibition on watering gardens, washing cars or filling swimming pools) have already been announced in large areas. from the south of England.
But Thames Water, which supplies water to 15 million customers including the capital London, has warned that it will join this movement, without setting a specific date.
“Given the long-term forecast of dry weather and very hot temperatures expected this week, we expect to announce temporary bans in the coming weeks,” a company spokesperson said.
Example of the current exceptional situation: the source of the Thames is dry and the river which crosses London does not begin to flow until about eight kilometers further downstream, unheard of.
The hydrological agency warned on Tuesday that river levels are "likely to remain 'exceptionally low' in central, southern and eastern England" through to October.