While Britain‘s summer of discontent is set to become hotter this week, the UK’s largest water and wastewater company has confirmed it will introduce water use restrictions ‘in coming weeks’.
Thames Water has said the ‘temporary hosepipe ban’ will be implemented as a response to the prolonged dry season.
In recent weeks, many water companies have introduced the measure as they see a lower than usual water level in their reservoirs.
A few days ago, Environment Secretary George Eustice urged more companies to take measures to protect the nation’s water supply.
Thames Water serves more than 15 million homes across London, Thames Valley, Surrey and other regions.
A Thames Water spokesperson told ELN: “Given the long-term forecast of dry weather and another forecast of very hot temperatures coming this week, we are planning to announce a temporary use ban in the coming weeks.
“We have written to the Environment Agency to update them on our approach and informed Ofwat.
“The timing is not confirmed due to a number of operational and legal procedural requirements, but we will be updating our customers, partners, regulators and stakeholders at the earliest time to ensure a co-ordinated approach.”
The company has recently come under fire after its decision to close an emergency desalination plant in London.
On Monday, Thames Water received fierce criticism after burst water main caused flooding up to four feet deep in London.
Thames Water added: “We have a dedicated team of analysts and scientists monitoring our water resource levels at all times.
“The team takes into consideration a number of factors including Met office forecasts, reservoir storage levels and expected customer demand. When considering implementing a temporary use ban we have to balance the impact on our customers and the environment.”
A Defra spokesperson said: “This is the driest summer in over 50 years, and all water companies have assured us that essential water supplies remain safe.
“We have taken action to build resilience in the water sector with £469 million water company investment in additional resources like new reservoirs, and we continue to crack down on leakage with tough statutory targets.
“Each region has a pre-agreed drought plan which is closely scrutinised, and several companies have taken precautionary action to safeguard supplies should the dry weather continue into the autumn.”