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A hosepipe ban has been announced for Kent and Sussex after southern England recorded its driest July on record.
South East Water became the latest company to announce water restrictions, which will come into effect on Friday 12 August and remain in place until further notice.
Millions of people in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight had already faced a hosepipe ban from 5 August.
The bans come after England’s driest July since 1935, and the driest on record for southeast and southern England.
Southeast England has recorded only 8 per cent of average rainfall in July, the Met Office said on Monday, and the longterm forecast for August and September is similar.
South East Water said the demand for water this summer had been higher than all previous records, including during the coronavirus lockdown.
It said it had been producing an extra 120 million litres of water a day, the equivalent of supplying four more towns the size of Maidstone or Eastbourne.
The aim of the hosepipe ban is to ensure the water company has enough water for essential use, to protect the environment, and to reduce the amount of water the company needs to take from local bodies of water.
People in Kent and Sussex will no longer be allowed to use a hosepipe to water a garden, clean a car us, fill a swimming or paddling pool among other activities.
If someone is found to have broken one of the rules they could be liable to pay a fine of up to 1,000 pounds, according to South East Water’s website.
Southern Water became the first water company to announce a hosepipe ban this year for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight last Friday. A ban has also come into force on the Isle of Man.
Climate scientists have warned that as greenhouse gases continue to heat the planet the UK could see warmer and drier and summers, and wetter winters.
This can cause problems for farmers whose land can be inundated during the winter and then can suffer from lack of water in the summer.
This year farmers are concerned that it’s going to be too dry to plant crop like oil seed rape this month, which produces a good alternative to sunflower oil that is in short supply due to the conflict in Ukraine.