1. ITV Report

Hosepipe ban announced

The River Bewl, where levels are running low Photo: Google

Seven water companies including Southern Water, South East Water, Thames Water, Veolia Central and Veolia South East are to bring in hosepipe bans after the region's second driest year on record.

Southern Water said hosepipes and sprinklers will be banned for its domestic customers in Kent & Sussex from 5th April for the first time since 2005/2006. The firm's water strategy manager, Meyrick Gough, said: " as the weather gets warmer, the demand for water will rise and therefore, to safeguard supplies throughout the summer we need to restrict the amount of water used in gardens."

Bewl reservoir in Kent, is only two-fifths full. Last month Southern Water was given a drought permit to help refill it. Rainfall levls have been higher in the western part of the Meridian region, there are currently no plans for restrictions in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

These aerial pictures show the extent of the drought in kent and East Sussex.