By the end of the month over 20 million people in England and Wales will be subject to hosepipe bans.
A hosepipe ban (or a Temporary Use Ban to use its formal name) can be used by water companies when they are having to manage their supplies of water because there is high demand and lower supply – so generally when it has been very dry and hot for a long period, as at present.
There is still enough water to drink and wash with, but a hosepipe ban helps reduce demand for water; hosepipes use a lot and generally for non-essential purposes.
What does it mean?
As the name suggests, if a ban is in place where you live, you can’t use a hosepipe for things like watering your garden, filling a paddling pool or washing your car.
If you need to use water outside, for example to water your plants, you are still able do that, but with a watering can or a bucket. If you are found to break the rules, you could be fined up to £1,000.
We should all think about how we can use water wisely and your water company will be able to give you advice to help do your bit.
Hosepipe bans are not something anyone wants, but they play an important role in a period of drought. They help maintain enough water for our day-to-day use, support key economic activity such as agriculture and protect the environment.