The hosepipe ban for the South, which came into force at midnight, affects millions of householders across seven water company areas.
The Environment Agency says most reservoirs were now below normal levels and river flows were decreasing. It says two thirds of our rivers are experiencing exceptionally low water levels.
The water firms bringing in restrictions say they are investing significant resources in fixing leaks, but the Environment Agency wants them to do more. More than 3.3 billion litres a day was lost in leaks in 2010/2011, according to the regulator Ofwat.
More top news
A chilly but dry and bright start with plenty of sunny spells today and feeling fresher for all.
Mist and fog in the west will be slow to clear for a dry and bright day but feeling fresher for all.
Rain clearing east tonight for a dry but fresher day tomorrow with plenty of sunny spells.