Hosepipe ban threat: Will the hosepipe ban make a comeback this summer?
Parts of the UK were struck by a hosepipe ban in the summer of 2018 as unprecedented heatwaves caused dam levels to drop dramatically. And despite a wet winter and spring, experts have reported rivers in parts of the UK are approaching “crisis point”. The current spell of hot weather isn’t helping, with the UK expected to break its record for the hottest day on record.
Will there be a hosepipe ban?No hosepipe bans have yet been enforced, but the chances of one being implemented increase with every spell of hot weather.The bookies have slashed odds on a hosepipe ban, with Coral making it an odds-on chance for a hosepipe ban.United Utilities has said a hosepipe uses 540 litres an hour, as much as an average family-of-four would use in one day, while a sprinkler left running overnight uses as much water as a family-of-four would use in one week.
Implementation of a hosepipe ban can reduce water usage by 5-10 percent, according to research by United Kingdom Water Industry Research, which would amount to more than 100 million litres per day in the North West.In August 2018, residents in the north-west of England were subjected to a brief Temporary Use Ban (TUB) of all hosepipes with the threat of hefty fines for disobeying.Now, however, it is the south east which is worrying experts.The Environment Agency said it had received a letter from 12 wildlife, conservation and angling groups, claiming all rivers in the south east are “below or severely below” normal levels.
They urged the agency to force water companies to implement “restrictions and temporary use bans” now rather than wait for further damage to be done.The groups wrote: Surely it makes more sense to prepare the public for potential shortages, in order to encourage demand reductions, rather than to encourage complacency.”This news comes after water companies said they might need to “take more water than usual” from rivers and boreholes, but did not foresee imposing their own hosepipe bans this summer.READ MORE: Weather threatened to strand NASA's Apollo 11 in the middle of Pacific
What can you do to save water?Thames Water suggests a few easy tips to save water around the house, including:- Take shorter showers instead of a bath.- Don’t wash the car - or use a bucket and sponge rather than a hosepipe.- Remember that brown lawns bounce back, so don’t worry about them too much.- Turn the tap off when brushing teeth.- Use a watering can rather than hosepipe for the garden.- Half fill paddling pools and use water afterwards for the garden.