Why are hosepipe bans happening?  

Posted in: Information Published: 5 August 2022

Dry weather and high demand for water 

The UK has seen unprecedented hot and dry weather in recent months, with a significant increase in demand for water. We had the driest July since 1935 and the driest winter and spring since the 1970s. Peak demand levels for water are up, as much as 40% higher than usual in some regions. 

During periods of extremely high demand, water companies have to produce huge amounts of extra water, often millions of litres, to meet demand. Every water company has detailed plans in place to manage water resources for customers and the environment, and are doing everything they can to minimise restrictions. 

Low levels at Llwyn-On reservoir in Wales

Hosepipe bans help balance supply and demand 

A hosepipe ban is one of the measures used to help balance water supply and demand in a specific region. The duration of a ban will depend on how well water storage has recovered in the affected area. It is important to check with your water company for details of what is and isn’t allowed.

What can customers do? 

You can play your part by carefully considering the amount of water you use. Fortunately saving water doesn’t have to be difficult, with even small changes making a big difference. There is a wealth of advice and tips throughout this website to help you use water more wisely. Our gardening tips from horticultural scientist Janet Manning can even help with watering your garden all year round without using a hosepipe.  

It’s possible to grow better plants more easily while saving water

What about the water wasted through burst pipes and leaks? 

Water companies are committed to doing everything they can to radically reduce leakage. Great progress has already been made, with the last three years seeing some of the lowest levels ever recorded. However more needs to be done and the sector has plans in place to halve leakage by 2050 

Companies are increasingly putting innovation and technology at the heart of their efforts to detect and fix leaks faster than ever, including intelligent networks, smart sensors, satellite technology and drones.   

In the last two years alone, leakage has been reduced by more than 10%

Water companies have a role to play and are committed to doing everything they can, but in order to preserve our precious water supplies not only now but for future generations, you can play your part by using water more carefully.