By Charlotte Webster-
Fifteen million more people are to be hit with a hosepipe ban in London and the surrounding areas, after Thames Water has announced measures will be introduced “in coming weeks”.
People served by the water company will join those in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, who have been under restrictions since last week, and those in Sussex and Kent, who will be under a ban from this Friday.
Under the restrictions, some of which could last until October, people will be banned from using excessive tap water to water their gardens, fill swimming or paddling pools, or wash their cars.
The utility company has been preparing for this summer, since the winter, with reservoirs in London filled.
Thames Water then launched a campaign to get customers to use water efficiently, while providing water saving tips
A Thames Water spokesperson said: “Given the long-term forecast of dry weather and another forecast of very hot temperatures coming this week, we are planning to announce a temporary use ban in the coming weeks. We have written to the Environment Agency to update them on our approach, and informed Ofwat.
“The timing is not confirmed due to a number of operational and legal procedural requirements but we will be updating our customers, partners, regulators and stakeholders at the earliest time to ensure a coordinated approach. In the meantime we continue to urge our customers to only use what they need for their essential use.”
The government has been pushing water companies to put restrictions in place as the UK has faced one of its driest summers on record, particularly in the south of England.
Thames and Southern regions have seen their driest July since records began in 1836, and south-east England has had no rainfall so far this month.
Drought conditions are predicted to continue into October, with many rivers in central and southern England in dire straits and not predicted to hit normal levels again unless there is above-average rain consistently through the autumn months.
In a previous warning issued during last month’s heatwave, water demand reduction manager at Thames Water, Andrew Tucker, said: ‘During spells of hot weather, water usage can often rocket, with hoses and sprinklers watering gardens and paddling pools filled.
‘That makes it even more important to be mindful of water usage to ensure there’s enough to go around for everyone.’