Southern Water will apply on Friday for a permit to pump water from the River Medway to help refill the south east's biggest reservoir.

Bewl Water, near Wadhurst in Sussex, is just 44 per cent full. At this time of year, it should be nearly two thirds full.

That's why Southern Water will now apply for a drought permit, so it can pump water from the Medway, even when when the river's levels are lower.

Paul Kent, Southern Water's environmental strategy manager, says they hope to bring the reservoir to a more normal level of about 60% full:

Abigail Bracken's full report also includes an interview with Sir Tony Redmund from the Consumer Council for Water: