Hosepipe ban to be lifted in three areas
Filed under: Utilities
So which areas are allowing the hosepipes out again, and what does it mean for you?
LiftedThe three water companies in question are Anglian Water, Southern Water and Thames Water - all of whom will lift the restrictions tomorrow.
They made the move after the Environment Agency announced last week that reservoir levels had returned to 75% capacity - which means we don't need to be quite so stressed about the imminent evaporation of the last remaining stocks.
Trevor Bishop, Head of Water Resources at the Environment Agency, said: "We have seen a huge improvement in water resources in just a few short months, putting us in a much more positive position for the summer. 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."
Still in placeIt does mean, however, that bans remain in place for the customers of Veolia Water Central, Veolia Water Southeast, South East Water, Sutton and East Surrey Water. They said last week that their supplies depended to a greater extent on groundwater - which is still in short supply.
The Environment Agency has warned that underground water levels are still low or exceptionally low in some areas, and some rivers are still at risk of drying up as ground water levels reduce over the summer.
What it meansIf you are suddenly free of the ban, then this is great news. It may feel like a real waste of money if you had invested in water butts or more efficient irrigation, but Bishop added that there may well be more shortages next year, so they may still come in handy. He said: "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."
Over time, as we face more shortages, we are likely to get ever-increasing calls for compulsory metered water across the country. Those who have learned how to get by with less will then be able to cash in.
Of course, if the ban is still in place in your area, then there is no good news. There is unlikely to be a lifting of the ban in the near future, because groundwater levels are so low.
In this case, the advice is to stick rigidly within the rules. Because it's bad enough you had to fork out for watering systems and live without a paddling pool. But it would be even worse if you had a £1,000 fine to add insult to injury.