The environment secretary has urged more water companies to impose hose bans as the nation braces for another heatwave.
George Eustice said some firms were “rightly” taking steps to mitigate the effects of the prolonged dry weather and he encouraged others to follow suit.
His comments, the first public intervention by ministers, signal possible restrictions on watering gardens, washing cars or filling pools with hoses for millions more people across southern England in the coming days.
It comes as forecasters are predicting warm weather will continue for most of the UK into next week if conditions remain dry and settle down with little rain or wind.
Southern Water has already imposed a hosepipe ban for customers in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, while the measure will follow exactly a week later for South East Water customers in Kent and Sussex.
Welsh Water also announced a ban for Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire later this month.
Mr Eustice said: “In line with their drought plans, water utilities across the country have rightly taken action to mitigate the effects of this prolonged dry weather using the tools at their disposal.
“I urge others to do the same.”
A spokesman for industry body Water UK said: “Every company has a drought plan that has been agreed with Ministers and the Environment Agency. These set specific triggers for activating various levels of response (including hose bans).
“The Government has decided that it should be up to the water companies to make the final judgment as to when the action triggers of each plan are met.
“To make these assessments, companies use specific indicators and criteria set out in plans agreed with the government.
“Companies are in constant dialogue with Defra and regulators about their position, future outlook, plans and actions.
“As we’ve seen this summer, companies are well prepared to use environmental restrictions where needed.
“But reducing demand is just one way companies are helping the environment — for example, they’ve also been sending cold water from reservoirs to rehydrate and cool rivers to protect fish (especially salmon stocks), and choose their sources that way to water that tries to reduce the pressure on hot spot areas with low river flow as much as possible.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20607263.hosepipes-must-banned-mp-urges-water-companies/?ref=rss Water hoses must be banned, the deputy urges water companies