1. National

Hosepipe bans come into effect

Hosepipe bans in parts of drought hit Britain have come into force since midnight. Southern Water, South East Water, Thames Water, Anglian Water, Sutton and East Surrey, Veolia Central and Veolia South East are to enforce restrictions.

View all 34 updates ›

Environment minister: 'We are planning for the worst case scenario'

Environment Minister Richard Benyon refused to rule out further measures to monitor water use. Credit: Conservative Party

Environment minister Richard Benyon has hinted there may be more water saving measures to come, should there be a continued lack of rainfall. Mr Benyon told Sky News:

"We are planning for the worst case scenario of a third dry winter. We want to make sure farmers can still produce the food we need, and that there's enough water for the energy industry."

The Minister seemed to defend companies against recent reports that one in every six litres is wasted before it reaches our taps saying:

"We're working really hard to minimise leaks. I think it's good that the economic regulator Ofwat is making sure water companies are making this a priority [...] It's not for me to defend them, but many are dealing with Edwardian or Victorian pipework infrastructure that needs replacing."

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman stressed that the restrictions are temporary saying:

"We can all help reduce the effects of drought by respecting these restrictions and being smarter about how we use water."

More on this story