|Thames Water hosepipe ban lifted|
The Thames Water hosepipe ban has been lifted after an extraordinary amount of rain eased the severity of the water shortage in the South and East.
The ban, which was due to stay in place for the rest of the summer, was lifted yesterday after record spring rain enabled the company to fill up its reservoirs.
Thames Water said the move was a thank you to the 9m people it supplies across London and the Thames Valley for complying with the Temporary Use Ban, which allowed it to save more than 100 million litres a day during the hot spell in May.
Hosepipe bans were imposed on 5 April by Thames Water and six other firms following the driest two-year period on record. But within hours the heavens opened and stayed open, delivering more than two-and-a-half times the average rainfall in April, steady showers in May and further monsoon-style downpours so far in June with more forecast.
Richard Aylard, of Thames Water, said: "We would like to say a heartfelt thank you to all our customers for complying with the restrictions, and for their ongoing efforts to use water wisely. They really are much appreciated.
"In early April things looked very different than they do now. We had had the two driest years on record and we had no idea how long it was going to stay dry. While we prepared for the worst, bringing in restrictions to save water to ensure there would be enough if the dry spell continued, the topsy-turvy British weather had other ideas.
"Since we imposed the Temporary Use Ban just over two months ago, we have received an extraordinary amount of rain. We are really pleased we can now lift the ban but, with groundwater levels still low and the possibility of a third successive dry winter, we still need to be careful. We don’t need a ban, but we do need to ask everyone to keep on using water wisely."