The water supplier for Kent and Sussex has become the latest to announce a hosepipe ban, citing the demand of this summer breaking “all previous records” amid extreme dry conditions.
In a statement on its website, South East Water said: “This has been a time of extreme weather conditions across the UK. Official figures show this is the driest July on record since 1935 and the period between November 2021 and July 2022 has been the dries eight-month stint since 1976.
“During July in the south-east, we have only seen 8% of average rainfall for the month, and the long-term forecast for August and September is for similar weather.
“The demand for water this summer has broken all previous records, including the Covid lockdown heatwave. We have been producing an additional 120m litres of water a day to supply our customers, which is the equivalent of supplying a further four towns the size of Maidstone or Eastbourne, daily.
“We have been left with no choice but to restrict the use of hosepipes and sprinklers from 0001 on Friday 12 August within our Kent and Sussex supply area until further notice.
“We are taking this step to ensure we have enough water for both essential use and to protect the environment. This will enable us to also reduce the amount of water we need to take from already stressed local water sources.”
Southern Water announced the first hosepipe ban of the year last week, covering Hampshire and the Isle of Wight from this Friday.