The UK, which has been witnessing extremely high temperatures and dry weather conditions, is now facing a drought alert. Experts have warned that parts of the country might fall into a drought in August.

The authorities have said that the UK could witness potential crop failures and drought. Root vegetables such as potatoes are under particular threat. It comes as the Met Office issued a warning that London could experience hot spells and thunderstorms in August after witnessing record-breaking temperatures in July.

Restrictions such as a temporary ban on hosepipe irrigation and water restrictions on households, farms, and businesses may be seen if the government implements a drought plan.

Most of England, except for the North West, is expected to be affected by the drought. These regions have already moved into a state of "prolonged dry weather," the step before a drought is declared.

Most parts of the country are already dealing with low water levels in rivers. The quality and quantity of water have been affected, impacting farmers as well as wildlife, per a report in The Mirror.

Below-average rainfall in recent months has led to low groundwater levels, dry soils, and low water levels in national reservoirs as well. The record-breaking heatwave that the UK faced last week has only increased the pressure on water resources.

The Environment Agency in Yorkshire has already applied for a drought order for the Holme Styes reservoir in Holmfirth to protect wildlife in the wake of low rainfall and subsequent lack of water resources. Southern Water has also applied for a drought permit for the River Test in Southampton, Hampshire.

Hosepipe bans have not been implemented in England, but water companies have been urging people to save water amid the dry weather conditions. August and September are critical months for several parts of England, which could face localised hosepipe bans in the coming weeks.

The National Drought Group, made up of government departments and affected groups, will be meeting on Tuesday to discuss a strategy to deal with the potentially impending drought.

The meeting was originally supposed to be held in October to plan for the summer of 2023, but it has been rescheduled as extremely harsh weather conditions may cause a drought this year itself. The last time a drought was declared in England was in 2018.

UK heatwave
The UK has been seeing extremely high temperatures. Ian Walton/Getty