Hosepipe ban: explore the deep

An aerial view of Friston Aquifer in Sussex Photo:

The south-east hosepipe ban comes into force at midnight and is set to run all summer. The hosepipe ban may even stay all year. The ban - backed with the threat of a fine of £1,000 - is being enforced by the seven water companies supplying Kent, Sussex and South Essex. It follows the driest winter since the 1920s.

Our above-ground reservoirs are at critically low levels - and underground water supplies are sinking fast.

On Wednesday the region's biggest water supplier, South East Water, invited ITV Meridian's cameras to descend 100 feet into Friston Aquifer just outside Eastbourne to see how serious the situation has become. Sarah Saunders reports.