Further hose bans will be announced this week

Representatives from the government, the water industry and agricultural groups met on Tuesday for further emergency talks to discuss response to potential droughts across the country.

Most of England is now in a prolonged dry state, following the driest July since records began.

Southern has asked customers to gently remind their neighbours, family or friends if they violate the ban on the use of garden hoses or water features in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

It said it would initially speak to anyone reported to the company but warned they could face a fine of up to £1,000. It is clear that the company relies on reports from the public to enforce the rules.

South East Water was one of the first to warn of shortages during last month’s heat wave, giving Kent red status for water as the warm temperatures contributed to rising demand.

Thames and South West told The Telegraph they may need to introduce restrictions in the coming weeks. Others in the south, including Portsmouth and Wessex, said they are not currently considering restrictions.

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