AREAS across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are set to be hit by a hosepipe ban as the UK continues to experience 'one of the driest years on record'.

From Friday, August 5, Southampton, Winchester, Andover and the Isle of Wight will be under a Temporary Use Ban (TUB) as Southern Water urgently works to reduce the demand on the River Test and River Itchen.

The utility company has said river flows are now approximately 25 per cent lower than they should be at this time of year. While on an average day it supplies 540 million litres of water, that figure rose to an average of 631 million litres a day in July.

While South East Water, which covers areas including Basingstoke and Fleet, has yet to take similar measures, it has warned customers that "more formal bans" could be needed to maintain the supply.

READ MORE: Hampshire hosepipe ban: 5 ways to save water

Southern Water has applied to the Environment Agency for a Drought Permit on the River Test – a vital source of fresh water for South Hampshire – to allow crews to continue to take water if levels drop further. However, this has been met by opposition from anglers who say the river's salmon population would be put at risk if the permit is allowed.

In the meantime, it has asked residents in the Southern Water catchment to restrict their water usage, and has released a map of the affected area.

Dr Alison Hoyle, Director of Risk & Compliance at Southern Water, said: "We haven’t taken this decision lightly and we know the Temporary Use Ban will have an impact on our customers. We’re working with the Environment Agency to ensure that we act responsibly to protect our environment.

Hampshire Chronicle: Southern Water's map Southern Water's map

"We’re asking everyone in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to do their bit by supporting these measures and only use the water that they need. We’re experiencing one of the driest years on record for over a century and we’ve seen record temperatures. River flows are approximately 25% lower than they should be for July, which is equivalent to losing more than 25 million bathtubs of water.

"We're asking our customers to help protect our rivers and the habitats that live there by cutting back their water use. We believe a Temporary Use Ban is a responsible and vital step to reducing the amount of water being taken from the Rivers Test and Itchen.”

During the ban, the use of a hosepipe, including using sprinklers, dripper hoses, automatic irrigation systems and similar devices, is prohibited for the following:

  • Watering a garden using a hosepipe
  • Cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a hosepipe
  • Watering plants on domestic or other non-commercial premises using a hosepipe
  • Cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool
  • Drawing water, using a hosepipe, for domestic recreational use
  • Filling or maintaining a domestic pond using a hosepipe
  • Filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain
  • Cleaning walls, or windows, of domestic premises using a hosepipe
  • Cleaning paths or patios using a hosepipe
  • Cleaning other artificial outdoor surfaces using a hosepipe

Nowhere in England is currently considered to be 'in drought', most of the country has instead moved into ‘prolonged dry weather’ status. This will be the first time a TUB has been seen in our region since 2012. 

Residents will still be able to carry out any of the listed activities if they use mains water from a bucket or watering can. Any water not sourced from the mains - such as rainwater from a water butt - is also fine to use. Anyone who breaks the prohibitions could be hit with a fine of up to £1,000.

Several exceptions apply for people using their hoses to water plants for commercial sale or use, or for health and safety reasons.

To see more about the ban, visit:

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