But despite the drought classification for Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, parts of Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Norfolk, the water shortages are not expected to prompt hosepipe bans for most areas.
The announcement was made by the Environment Agency after monitoring groundwater, rivers and in reservoirs across the country.
It follows what the Government says was the driest spring on record in South East and Central Southern England, and the driest right across England and Wales since 1990.
And for many farmers, there are now restrictions on the amount of water they can use to irrigate rain-deprived crops.
“I think the cereal crops, particularly the spring-sown ones, you are going to lose up to half your yield,” said Kate Leith, whose family runs a root vegetable and cereal farm at Wantisden, Suffolk.
“Some fields will be wiped out completely and it won’t be worth harvesting them at all.”