An unused hosepipe in Alveston, Warwickshire.

Hosepipe ban comes into force

Millions of homeowners have been banned from using hosepipes from today as drought grips parts of the country.

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Avid gardener says further hosepipe ban is 'ironic'

Avid gardener Barbara Lucas describes the continued hosepipe ban from South East Water as "ironic". She says everything is "so dripping wet" that that she can't touch anything in the garden.

ITV News asked Mrs Lucas what the weather has been like:

As a local resident, Mrs Lucas lives within the South East Water patch where current groundwater levels remain very low and therefore the water restrictions will remain in place.

For more information see ITV News Meridian.

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Bewl reservoir recovers

Bewl reservoir in Kent in April: only two fifths full and the result of the driest ten months on record here since 1888 Credit: Reuters

Water levels at Bewl reservoir in Kent have doubled in just over two months. At the beginning of April the reservoir was 40% full, it is now 80% full.

Southern Water announced they were able to lift the hosepipe ban as recent "significant rainfall" has enabled the reservoir to begin to recover from drought.

Bewl reservoir in Kent today. Credit: ITV News

Rainfall figures since hosepipe ban

March

  • England experienced 26.5 millimetres (mm) of rain, 40% normal levels
  • Wales and the South West had 30.0 mm, 30% of normal levels
  • South and South East England had 27.8 mm, 47% of normal levels

April

  • England experienced 134.2 mm of rain, 236% of normal levels
  • Wales and the South West had 175.8 mm, 235% of normal levels
  • South and South East England had 135.4 mm, 257% of normal levels

May

  • England experienced 52.3 mm of rain, 94% of normal levels
  • Wales and the South West had 58.2 mm, 81% of normal levels
  • South and South East England had 43.1 mm, 83% of normal levels
– The Met Office

Groundwater levels 'still too low'

Water companies who rely on groundwater are unable to lift the hosepipe ban as the recent heavy rainfall, whilst boosting river and reservoir levels, has had "little impact" on the groundwater sources.

South East Water said groundwater provides 75% of their customers's water supplies, and levels remain severe:

All water companies must stick to their drought management plans which are agreed with our regulators. Just as those companies who are now in a position to withdraw their restrictions will be following theirs, so must we comply with ours and retain them.

– Paul Seeley, Asset Director at South East Water

Thames Water: 'We have enough water for the year'

Thames Water, Anglian Water and Southern Water will remove the ban on using hosepipes from midnight tonight. The decision follows record levels of rainfall across the UK in April, and a cool and damp May and June.

Richard Aylard, sustainability director of Thames Water, said that although reservoir levels are not completely back to normal there would be no restrictions on water use for the rest of the year.

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Hosepipe bans to be lifted following heavy downpours

Hosepipe bans are to be lifted today because of heavy downpours across Britain.

Thames Water, Anglian Water and Southern Water will today formally announce the end of the restrictions which have been in place since early April.

But the restrictions introduced early in April were followed by record rainfall across the UK for that month, and more rain in May and the beginning of June.

Daybreak's Katy Fawcett reports from Middleton on Sea.

Hosepipe bans lifted 'because of heavy downpours'

Hosepipe bans are to be lifted today because of heavy downpours across Britain. Forecasters have warned that heavy rain is set to continue through the rest of the week.

South Wales, the south of England and Northern Ireland all saw heavy showers yesterday and temperatures struggled to get above 14C.

It's been because of supply and demand, it has recharged. It also is because we have had such a cold, wet May and June following a wet April, which means demand has been suppressed."

– Spokesman for Anglian Water
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