A drought occurs when an area experiences an unusually low level of rainfall or snow, affecting everything from moisture in the soil to water levels in rivers.
While droughts can be naturally occurring events, there is consensus among scientists that human-driven climate change is increasing the probability of drought events.
Droughts occur as a result of low rainfall, which can be driven by a variety of factors like climate change, ocean temperature and changes in a local landscape.
In the UK, the extremely hot July that just passed and an unusually dry spring has contributed to the likely onset of drought.
Another heatwave this week has further exacerbated the situation.
The way that water is managed and used can also have an impact on an area’s ability to cope with drought conditions.
Water companies in England have been heavily criticised for failing to meet targets on reducing leakage in its infrastructure.
Analysis by The Times shows that water companies are leaking up to a quarter of their supply a day, amounting to around 2.4 billion litres of water.