Why water just got hot

Water is emerging as the new battle front in the struggle over the cost of living

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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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Companies to lift hosepipe bans

Hosepipe ban
The hosepipe ban will be lifted today Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA

Hosepipe bans are to be lifted by three of the UK's biggest water companies.

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

Seven water companies across southern and eastern England brought in hosepipe bans to combat drought, after two unusually dry winters left some groundwater supplies and rivers as low as in the drought year of 1976.

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.

Thames Water: 'The record spring rainfall has eased the situation considerably'

Richard Aylard, sustainability director for Thames Water:

The record spring rainfall has eased the situation considerably.

"The River Thames provides 70% of the water we supply to our customers and levels are now where we would expect them to be at this time of the year, and our reservoirs are still full.

"In addition we have had excellent cooperation from our customers, both in observing the restrictions and in using water wisely, and we are currently beating our leakage target by more than 60 million litres a day."

Drought could get worse, says Environment Agency

While the rain has improved the situation, a third dry winter could see conditions "deteriorate" again and lead to the possibility of more water restrictions next year.

While the downpours in April were pretty miserable, they were really welcome as water companies were able to refill their reservoirs, river levels are mostly back to normal, and many wildlife habitats that were suffering have recovered.

"But while the risk of drought with further water restrictions and associated environmental impacts this summer has reduced, the situation could deteriorate again next year if there is not enough rain this winter".

– Trevor Bishop, head of water resources at the Environment Agency

In addition, groundwater levels are still well below normal in some areas, with some as low as in the drought year of 1976, and are unlikely to improve before the winter.

Some areas need as much as 140% of long-term average rainfall this winter to fully recover.

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