In 1976 the United Kingdom experienced a heatwave that lead to the hottest summer in the UK since records began. The country suffered a severe drought, with one of the driest, sunniest and warmest summers in the 20th Century. Due to these circumstances parliament passed The Emergency Drought Act 1976. A minister was made responsible for the handling of water shortage and stand-pipes were set up to provide a rationed supply of water. In the last week of August severe thunderstorms brought rain, to some places for the first time in weeks and September and October went on to be very wet months, bringing an end to the great drought.