Hosepipe ban 'over before autumn'
Filed under: Utilities
Thames Water, which serves 8.8 million customers in London and the Thames Valley area, said unless the weather takes "an unexpectedly Saharan twist", it no longer expected to keep the ban in place through to the autumn.
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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.
The latest drought briefing from the Environment Agency said the wet weather had significantly reduced the risk of drought and widespread water restrictions this summer.
River levels and reservoir stocks have improved significantly and further water restrictions for the public and businesses are unlikely, the government agency said.
Richard Aylard, sustainability director for Thames Water, said: "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."
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: "Whilst I'm sure the recent rain was a challenge for some of the public events like the Jubilee, it was most welcome to farmers, gardeners and the water companies who are looking into whether they can lift the restrictions at the end of June."
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