We're pleased to announce that from Thursday 14th June we will be lifting the hosepipe ban. The exceptionally wet weather since the start of April has boosted flows in many rivers and largely refilled reservoirs hit hard by the two-year-long drought. Many groundwater aquifers have also recovered from what had been record low levels in some areas.
We have invested £120 million to make better use of water across the region since April 2010 (find out more about some of the schemes to mitigate the impact of drought). Despite this, a hosepipe ban for households came into force in the region on April 5th, for the first time in 20 years, following the driest 18 months in over a century.
Evidence shows that a hosepipe ban can reduce demand on average by up to 10% so it will help to protect the water resources over the drier summer months. Thankfully the ban is now being lifted, but it still reinforces the need for wider behavioural change and helps to get the message out that we all have a responsibility not to waste water.
Essentially, any commercial business operating at commercial premises were not included in the ban, with the following exceptions:
- Watering grass used for sport and recreation was prohibited, except for field of play for national and international sporting events, or to ensure health and safety of people and animals.
- Businesses that operate at a domestic property or wash private vehicles (e.g. car/driveway washing or window cleaning) could continue to use a hosepipe in the course of their work, where this is done as a service to customers and is their sole business process. Alternatives to using a hosepipe should be used wherever possible.
- If the use of a hosepipe is an ancillary service then it fell under the hosepipe ban. However, gardening businesses were exempt. Turf growers and commercial gardeners and their customers were able to water where necessary to get new gardens, lawns and plants established, and continue this for up to 28 days from the point at which they are planted.
For tips on using water more efficiently visit the Saving Water pages on our website.