This year has been exceptionally dry, both in Yorkshire and across much of the
country. The Environment Agency has classified most of England as being in
‘Prolonged Dry Weather’ status following the driest winter and spring since the
Water companies rely on different sources of water for their supplies, depending
on their local geography. In Yorkshire around 45 per cent of our water comes from
reservoirs, 33 per cent from rivers and 22 per cent from groundwater sources.
In Yorkshire, our reservoirs were at full capacity in March however there has been significantly lower than average rainfall throughout the spring and summer
meaning reservoirs are now much lower than normal at this time of year. The dry
weather has also meant river levels have been much lower than normal.
Yorkshire Water carefully monitor levels in our reservoirs and rivers to ensure that they can continue to supply water to the region. To help to recover reservoir stocks, they have the option of applying for drought permits from the Environment Agency.
Drought permits are part of the statutory drought management process, which
sets out what companies must do to protect supplies and the environment.
Ahead of applying for drought permits, companies must first implement
temporary usage bans (commonly known as hosepipe bans) as a measure to
attempt to further reduce water use, before being allowed to take more water
Whilst they prefer to ask customers to voluntarily reduce their water use,
especially after people have had so many restrictions on their day to day lives
through the pandemic, they are now in a position where the only responsible
course of action is to take the required step of introducing a temporary usage
The ban will be in place from 26 August 2022, which would mean the following activities are prohibited:
- Watering a garden using a hosepipe
- Cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a hosepipe
- Watering plants on domestic or other non-commercial premises using a hosepipe
- Cleaning a private leisure boat using a hosepipe
- Filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool
- Drawing water, using a hosepipe, for domestic recreational use
- Filling or maintaining a domestic pond using a hosepipe
- Filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain
- Cleaning walls, or windows, of domestic premises using a hosepipe
- Cleaning paths or patios using a hosepipe
- Cleaning other artificial outdoor surfaces using a hosepipe
Customers can still carry out these activities if they use water from a bucket or watering can; or use water that is not sourced from the mains such as grey water, rainwater from a water butt through a hosepipe, or private boreholes for example.
Yorkshire Water cannot say how long the ban will last for certain, but the ban would need to be in place until we receive significant rainfall and our reservoir levels return to a situation much closer to normal.
For more information please visit the Yorkshire Water website at https://www.yorkshirewater.com/your-water/is-there-a-hosepipe-ban/#ban