Hosepipe bans are now controlling supplies in the UK’s water network, as months of below-average rainfall and excessive heat push the country’s water networks to the brink. Earlier this week, an Oxfordshire village became the first to run out of water, forcing officials to distribute bottles. Usage bans should ensure other areas do not meet the same fate but will require people to follow several restrictions.
What rules do people have to follow from today?
South East Water restrictions activated at 12.01am on Friday, August 12, and will likely remain in place until demand declines and water levels recover.
Water usage limits should help the firm get back to this point sooner, and it has asked people to curb some of their most high-cost habits.
These primarily involve hosepipes, which can use thousands of litres of water every day.
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Which areas have to follow hosepipe ban rules?
Today’s hosepipe ban covers all communities supplied by South East Water, which operates primarily in southern England.
The company has found that demand for water from its roughly 2.2 million-strong customer base has led it to produce an additional 120 million litres every day.
South East Water provides drinking water to people living in five boroughs.
What happens if you don’t follow hosepipe ban rules?
Those who don’t follow the rules may receive a fine from South East Water.
While this is a “last resort”, the company has said it will prosecute if necessary.
On conviction, rule breakers may have to pay “up to £1,000” if found guilty in court, South East Water said.