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End of hose pipe ban for some Gardeners

Grassclippings - Hose Pipe Ban EndsMore than 15 million people in the south and east of England will be able to fill paddling pools and water lawns again when hosepipe bans are lifted on Thursday (today) reports The Guardian

Three of the UK's biggest water companies – Anglian Water, Southern Water and Thames Water – announced the end of the restriction yesterday.

The restrictions were introduced in early April but were immediately followed by record rainfall across the UK that month, more rain in May and "monsoons" at the beginning of June, which is on track to break another record. The rain has recharged rivers and reservoirs and the downpours have also cut the demand from gardeners.

However, four companies – South East Water, Sutton and East Surrey Water, Veolia Water Central and Veolia Water Southeast – are keeping their hosepipe bans in place, as they are much more dependent on groundwater for their supplies, rather than reservoirs. Two very dry winters have left many underground aquifers severely depleted, with some areas needing a very wet winter – 40% above the long-term average – to recover fully.

"We have had two-and-a-half times the average rainfall for April, we have had steady showers in May and then monsoon downpours in June," said a spokesman for Thames Water, the UK's largest water company with 8.8 million customers in London and the Thames Valley area. "That's changed things." A spokesman for Anglian Water added that demand had been "suppressed" by the cold, wet weather.

The environment secretary, Caroline Spelman, said: "We've always been clear that temporary restrictions should only be in place for as long as necessary."

In its latest drought briefing, the Environment Agency said almost all reservoirs are now at least 75% full and river flows have returned to normal for the time of year. But it warned that the risk of serious drought remained. "The situation could deteriorate again next year if there is not enough rain this winter," said Trevor Bishop, head of Water Resources. "We are still working with partners, planning for the impacts that a third dry winter could have on next year's water supplies."

Read more on The Guardian

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