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
Manali has the latest forecast for the west of the region.
Manali Lukha has the latest weather forecast for the east of the Meridian region.
A heavily pregnant woman lost her unborn baby when she was knocked down on a pedestrian crossing, police have revealed.