Millions of households to be hit by second hosepipe ban as Britain faces water scarcity


According to the reports, the latest hosepipe ban is expected to be announced as Britain’s dry spell continues. The south-east of England has been worst hit by dry conditions and is forecast to miss the rain that will arrive in the country in the coming days.

Southern Water will start to enforce a hosepipe ban from Friday, and other companies in the region are expected to follow.

South East Water said it “may need to impose more formal bans” to maintain supplies for essential use.

The company serves 2.2 million customers in Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Berkshire as well as Hampshire, where Southern will bring in its own ban.

South East Water, which last year lost 88.7million litres of water a day through leaking pipes, will be the second UK water company to announce a hosepipe ban so far this summer.

The first hosepipe ban of the summer was introduced after England experienced its driest July in more than 100 years.

Southern Water’s temporary use ban will come into force for around 1.5 million people covering parts of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight on August 5.

It comes after the blazing, record-breaking heatwave that engulfed the UK in mid July.

Flouting the restriction could lead to prosecution and a court fine of up to £1,000.

An internal South East Water briefing on plans for the new ban, seen by the Mail, noted that other water companies could follow suit as they are “really thinking hard on their positions”.

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The firm has already called on its customers to voluntarily turn off their hosepipes and sprinkler systems as the hot dry weather continues.

Lee Dance, South East Water’s head of water resources, said last week: “Clearly, we are in a very dry and warm period and the forecast is that this may continue for a number of weeks.”

Mr Dance added: “We have been looking very closely at the current situation and assessing the likelihood of restrictions and other measures.

“If our assessment reveals voluntary reduction of water use will not allow us to maintain supplies of water for essential use or to protect the environment, then we may need to impose more formal bans.”

The announcement comes at the time when the Met Office said southern England had experienced its driest July since records began in 1836.

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South-East and central southern England saw an average of just 5mm (0.2ins) of rain last month, while East Anglia had only a fraction more with 5.4mm (0.21ins).

Most of England – with the exception of the North-West – has moved into a state of “prolonged dry weather”.

This is described by the Environment Agency as “the first stage of a drought”, raising the spectre of restrictions such as hosepipe bans.

The Isle of Man also announced a hosepipe ban last week, while Welsh Water has said it may have to bring in a similar restriction in Pembrokeshire.

The first hosepipe ban of the summer was introduced after England experienced its driest July in more than 100 years.

Southern Water’s temporary use ban will come into force for around 1.5 million people covering parts of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight on August 5.

It comes after the blazing, record-breaking heatwave that engulfed the UK in mid July.



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