Warnings of water shortage after one of the driest Aprils on record

Video report by ITV News Meridian's James Dunham

Despite the forecast of rain over the bank holiday weekend the south east has had one of the driest Aprils on record.

On average, the region has seen just 3 and a half millimetres this April, which may beat the previous record for a dry spell set almost 110 years ago.

That is no surprise to gardeners and farmers, and now South East Water is urging us to think carefully about how much water we use, to make sure there are no problems ahead. 

Credit: ITV News Meridian

Douglas Whitfield from South East Water says: "We’ve seen over the last 12 months a shift in demand as we’ve gone through an extraordinary year and we don’t want to see any problems through the end of the year.

"So we’re trying to look ahead and plan ahead and remind people to be careful of this previous resource."

South East Water share their tips on saving water:

  • Install a water butt to save rainwater for drier days. Just one can hold enough to fill a watering can for free 25 times

  • Ditch the sprinkler – sprinklers waste 50% of the water they spray, through evaporation, run off and landing where water isn’t needed. Use targeted water systems like watering cans they will get the water to the roots where it’s needed with little waste

  • Water plants at the roots, rather than their leaves, and avoid watering in the midday sun to stop evaporation. You can also try putting an upturned drinking bottle in the ground with the bottom cut off to help water get straight to the soil

  • Include a few drought proof plants in your garden such as Lavender or Palms. They're easy to look after and will save you time and money

  • Use mulch on your garden to help reduce evaporation by 75%. It will also stop weeds from growing fast and keep your budding greenery happy

  • Don't pour the leftover cooking water down the drain. It's full of nutrients which makes it perfect for your garden or house plants

  • Be careful with what you put on your plants! Slug pellets only kill around 10% of the population, but natural alternatives can be more effective – and kinder to the environment. Planting bee-friendly plants such as wildflowers will introduce natural competition to unwanted creatures such as slugs and snails. More info can be found on the RHS website.